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Ana Luiza Libânio

was born Adriana Vitor Lessa on 1 February 1971 in São Paulo, Brazil. Her father, a blue-collar worker, and her mother, a schoolteacher, provided her and her only brother with the best education and opportunities they could afford, including athletic activities. The two children spent their adolescent years dedicated to sports, going to the ACM (the Brazilian YMCA); hence, an artistic career was not in Lessa’s plans for the future. Her ambition was to be a volleyball player as well as a track and field star. For a brief time, Lessa was a professional volleyball player with the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista based in the city of Guarulhos, São Paulo.

In 1986 a friend who worked as an actor invited Lessa to audition for a role in a play by Brazilian stage director Antunes Filho At first she turned down the invitation but ultimately auditioned on stage and was ...