Brazilian soap star drowns on the set

SERGIPE, Brazil, Sept. 16 (UPI) — Brazilian soap opera star Domingos Montagner has drowned after going for a swim in the São Francisco River shortly after shooting a scene there, authorities said Thursday.

Montagner, 54, was the lead in the soap opera Velho Chico, named after the river where his body was recovered.

Actress Camila Pitanga, briefly joined him for a swim on Wednesday, but watched as he was carried away by the river’s strong current. Pitanga reportedly cried for help but locals thought it was part of the show.

Montagner’s body was found Thursday. Globo, the channel that airs the show, announced his death.

He began his acting career as a clown, but rose to be one of Brazil’s top leading men.

Eerily last month, Montagner’s character, Santo, was shown floating lifelessly in the river in a cliffhanger end of an episode.

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