"I am Brazil's happiest woman because, at last, I could reunite my body to my soul which has always been deeply feminine."
According to Wikipedia, Roberta Close was born Luiz Roberto Gambine Moreira in Rio de Janeiro on 7 December 1964 — although she has occasionally claimed to have been born on December 12, 1965. Although she was born biologically male, she is reputed to have been born with incomplete male genitalia. Close, the first pre-operative transsexual model to have posed for the Brazilian edition of Playboy, is probably Brazil's most famous transsexual woman: today, her name is almost synonymous with sex change.
As an adolescent, Luíz began to adopt feminine attire and secretly began taking female hormone injections. By the age of seventeen, Close's career as a model and actress was beginning to take off. For a period of time, Luíz was associated with the travestis, a Brazilian subculture of biologically male transgendered prostitutes.
Close won the "Miss Gay Brazil" beauty pageant at the age of twenty. That same year, she made headlines and was dubbed "The world's most beautiful model". She has played a cabaret singer on a popular soap opera, starred in the 1986 movie Si tu vas a Rio... tu meurs, hosted a late night talk show, and was the inspiration for a hit song by Roberto and Erasmo Carlos.
In 1989, Close underwent sex reassignment surgery at Charing Cross Clinic in London, England. Afterwards, she appeared in an extensive photo spread in the Brazilian men's magazine Sexy, and was subsequently voted the "Most Beautiful Woman in Brazil."
In 1993, Close married Roland Granacher. The wedding to her Swiss husband took place in Europe, as it would not have been legal in Brazil. Close lived with Granacher in Zurich and Paris until the pair separated in 2000.
Roberta's Portuguese-language autobiography, Muito Prazer, Roberta Close ("Much Pleasure, Roberta Close" or "Pleased to meet you, I'm Roberta Close") was published in 1998. In it, she claims to have been involved with numerous American celebrities including Eddie Murphy, George Clooney, and Robert DeNiro. It has not been published in the United States