Most famous for his starring role in the Academy Award-winning 1959 movie Black Orpheus, this Brazilian actor also appeared in the films Os Vencidos (1963); San Rata de Puerto (1963); and O Negrinho do Pastoreio (1973).
Before beginning his acting career, he played soccer for the Gremio Esportivo Renner, Fluminense, and Santos football clubs.
In a tragic coincidence, he and his Black Orpheus co-star Marpessa Dawn died of heart attacks just over a month apart.
He was born and raised in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. His relationship with Amelina Santos Correa resulted in a daughter named Leticia.
He and British actor Steven Berkoff were both in the cast of the 1988 film Prisoner of Rio.