His first participation in musical films was in 1954, and his television debut came in 1958. He began to write, direct and create characters with his trademark humor. He also wrote books and columns in newspapers, often deploying his tonic of comedy and irony.
He started hosting talk shows in the late 1980s, and “A kiss from the fat man” became a common catchphrase. He interviewed hundreds of luminaries on his show Programa do Jô, that television behemoth Globo aired from 2000 to 2016.
Soares had only one son, Rafael, who died in 2014. At the time, Soares kept working and paid tribute to him on air.
“A kiss from the fat man, and life continues,″ he said. “Life is, you know, what we came here to do.″