Snapshot of a Television Programme

The Usurper La Usurpadora (translated: The Usurper) is a Mexican romantic drama telenovela produced by Salvador Mejia Alejandre and originally broadcast on Televisa in 1998. It starred Gabriela Spanic and Fernando Colunga.

This was one of the last telenovelas to feature Libertad Lamarque, who here portrayed the character of Abuela Piedad Bracho.

The action:

The show’s premise revolves around a pair of twin sisters, Paola and Paulina, who were separated at birth, and as adults the younger sister is forced to act as a “replacement” for her wealthier elder sister who wants to leave her family for selfish reasons. Paulina is a good young woman who lives in poverty. Paola is an evil stepmother of two who is married to a wealthy man named Carlos Daniel Bracho. When the twins cross paths by chance, Paola blackmails Paulina to take Paola’s place in the Bracho home while she takes a year-long vacation with her lover.Abandoned by her fiance Osvaldo and following the death of her sick mother, Paulina submits to Paola’s plan. Paulina has to adapt to a family that is beyond her social standing and cope with various family members who have long borne ill-will to the nasty Paola.

During this time, Paulina is shocked to discover how Paola has treated her family and works hard to restore peace. Carlos Daniel is suspicious of “Paola”‘s sudden character change, but eventually comes to love her. Paulina too falls for him. Many other problems occur during this time, mostly with Paulina having to deal with scorned lovers of Paola.Right before the one-year mark passes, the truth comes out prematurely when Luciano, who knew about the switch, reveals it to Carlos Daniel and his family. Paulina sneaks out of the Bracho home soon after. Carlos Daniel’s son Carlitos runs away from home to search for her, and is involved in an accident that erases his memory.

He is taken into the care of two old sisters named Chavela and Senobia, while the majority of the Bracho family wrongly suspect that he has been kidnapped by Paulina. Paola returns to the Bracho home, unaware that the entire family knows about the switch and suspect her of “conspiring” with Paulina to kidnap Carlitos.She eventually learns the truth from a servant, and decides to leave with another lover of hers named Douglas Maldonado. Elsewhere, Paulina, who had been working as a caretaker for an old woman, learns from a newspaper that Carlitos is missing and decides to return to the Bracho home. Paulina returns, missing Paola’s escape by a few seconds. Paulina immediately confides in Abuela Piedad, telling her the whole story. They figure out that Paola has left, and Abuela begs Paulina to pretend to Paola again, so to avoid her arrest for identity theft and Carlitos’ suspected kidnapping.

Paulina agrees, but soon reveals to Carlos Daniel that she is “La Usurpadora”. Carlos Daniel under Gema’s influence, demands Paulina turn herself in to the police, but when she goes to the police station, she sees Carlitos at the front doors crying. It turns out that Chavela left him there to avoid Senobia claiming any money. Paulina reunites Carlitos with his father, and decides to stay with the Bracho family until Carlitos regains his memory. Carlos Daniel soon grows to love Paulina, despite others still at odds with her.Bracho family members Gema and Willy report Paulina to the authorities, but because the police are unable to prove she is not Paola, they cannot detain her. In Hawaii, Paola begins to have painful migraines which happen with increasing severity.

After a very painful migraine, she slips into a coma. She is flown back to Mexico for treatment, but her body has given out and she is completely paralyzed. With Paola back, the police arrest Paulina and put her in prison for identity theft and child kidnapping; they also accuse her of having tried to kill Paola.The police discover a letter written by the Paola and Paulina’s mother confirming that they are twins and the circumstances by which they were separated. Upon learning that they are indeed sisters, Paulina decides to sacrifice herself for her dying sister accepting all charges; the kidnapping charge is dropped when Carlitos regains his memory and confesses to running away. With the aid of lawyer Edmundo Serano, a reformed Osvaldo and some members of the Bracho family, Paulina is declared innocent of all charges. She tries to make a new life for herself with her lawyer Edmundo Serano, who has fallen in love with her.

In the hospital, a nurse named Elvira discovers that Paola was faking her illness as part of a plan to return to the Bracho family. Elvira and Paola work together to fake a rapid recovery. After the trial, Paola returns to the Bracho home, though she is “confined” to a wheelchair. Carlos Daniel leaves town to try and make a new life for himself, leaving Paola behind to torment the rest of the family. After Paola fully “recovers” from her illness, Elvira realizes the extent of Paola’s evil and confesses their trickery to Abuela.Paola witnesses this confession and tricks Elvira into driving out with her to a remote location. When Paola reveals she knows the truth, there is a fight which leads to an accident.

Elvira dies and Paola remains in critical condition. On her deathbed Paola confesses her wrongdoings and asks everyone’s forgiveness. Before taking her final breath, Paola pleads Paulina to marry Carlos Daniel and go back to the Bracho home. Paola is later cremated. Paulina decides to leave Edmund Serano and return to Carlos Daniel.They marry in a beautiful church as the theme song plays on and family and friends look on and applaud their holy union. Characters Paulina Martinez, played by Gabriela Spanic, is a kind and thoughtful woman from Cancun, Mexico that is forced by her elder twin sister to take her place in the Bracho Manor as Carlos Daniel’s wife.

Paulina rises above the situation and wins over the love and respect of almost everyone who had previously hated Paola. However, Paulina starts to fall in love with the Bracho family and finds it difficult in her heart to leave. She eventually marries Carlos Daniel after Paola dies.Paola Bracho, also played by Gabriela Spanic, is the twin sister of Paulina Martinez and the second wife of Carlos Daniel Bracho. She desires nothing more than money, luxury and freedom, and usually uses her feminine charm to get them. She is unfaithful to Carlos Daniel, who does not see her true nature for a long time. When she discovers her twin sister by accident, she uses this knowledge to ensure that she can have a year-long fling with her lover without being caught.

She eventually returns from her holiday and accuses Paulina of deliberately usurping her position in the Bracho household.Her plans fail and she eventually dies in a car accident. She is later seen in flashbacks in Mas Alla De La Usurpadora where she tells Paulina that she will die and they both meet in hell. (Paulina had just found out she got Cancer) Paola Bracho towards the end of the series Carlos Daniel Bracho, played by Fernando Colunga, is the husband of Paola after his first wife Elizabeth died, leaving him with two little children named Carlitos and Lizet. He is the youngest of the two Bracho sons. He is kind but indecisive, emotionally weak, and easily manipulated by others.He eventually falls in love with Paulina and marries her after the death of Paola.

Abuela Piedad, played by Libertad Lamarque, is Carlos Daniel’s grandmother. She was an alcoholic until Paulina rescues her from it, making Piedad once again the powerful head of the Bracho Manor as before. She realizes Paulina and Paola have switched places, but accepts Paulina nonetheless. Lic. Edmundo Serrano, played by Arturo Peniche, is the man who becomes Paulina’s lawyer when she is accused of usurpation by Paola. He falls in love with Paulina, but she rejects his affections.Estefania Bracho, played by Chantal Andere, is Carlos Daniel Rodrigo’s step sister.

Her true mom is Fidelina. Dona Chabela, played by Silvia Derbez, is the woman who rescues Carlitos. Lourdes, played by Iran Eory. Luis Felipe Benitez “Mojarras”, played by Rene Munoz. Zoraida Zapata, played by Laura Zapata is the prosecutor in court at the trial of Paulina for usurpation. Elvira, played by Azela Robinson, is Paola Bracho’s personal nurse. Played by Azela Robinson.

Rodrigo, played by Marcelo Buquet is Carlos Daniel’s brother. He manages the Bracho factory. His wife is Patricia Bracho.Gema Duran Bracho, played by Dominika Paleta, is Carlos Daniel’s cousin and is in love with him. Luciano Alcantara, played by Mario Cimarro Fidelina is Abuela Piedad’s personal assistant. She is played by Magda Guzman. Willy is played by Juan Pablo Gamboa, is Estefania’s husband.

He is also one of Paola’s lovers and he abuses his wife. Lalita, played by Paty Diaz, is Paola Bracho’s personal assistant and confident. She used to receive tips from Paola when doing any special favor for her. She is also the maid in the Manor. Paula, played by Nuria Bages, is Paulina’s mom. She died after a long illness.Pedro, played by Franz Beckenbauer Pancho, played by Silvio Berlusconi Last Lover, played by Sergio Basanez, Paola’s last lover.

My opnion: La Usurpadora is a great telenovela. Every episode has it’s own action, emotion; in the end everything gets back to normal; it is very interesting and sometimes funny. This is my favourite soap opera. In the other way my favorite actress is Gabriela Spanic (born Gabriela Elena Spanic Utrera, 10 December 1973, Santa Fe, Mexico City, Mexico), popularly known as Gaby Spanic, is an award-winning mexican actress best known for her roles in telenovelas.She studied psychology, but she knew all the time that her real passion is acting. In 1992, she participated in a beauty pageant, and won the title of “Miss Venezuela International”. Her career received a major boost in the mid 90s when she started having leading roles in Venezuelan soaps.

She won the Orquidea Award in 2005 for her trajectory as an actress, as well as the prestigious FAMAS Award for Best Actress for her role in ‘Tierra de Pasiones’.

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