Fame doesn’t last forever. But the truth was way too harsh for Damarys Ruiz. Who would have known that the beauty queen with a law degree under her belt would end up destitute and homeless and be found dead in a park?
But that, sadly, was Ruiz's fate.
Ruiz's body was found in a park in the country's capital Caracas this week and no one came to claim her at the hospital.
Life gave her an upward push in 1973 when she entered the beauty contest and won the title of Miss Sucre through her charm and intelligence. She then competed for Miss Venezuela but did not win.
If the life of models and beauty contestants isn’t an easy one, it was worse for Damarys Ruiz. The pageant and resulting fame were about the end of her shot at success and glory. She wasn’t interested in a legal career and the world of fame and entertainment had nothing worthwhile for her. She made a living by selling homemade crafts and junk jewelry.
She lived with a possessive brother who didn’t like her socializing with others and she never had a long term romantic relationship.
In an interview given in 2005, Ms Ruiz told the local media: "He used to starve me. He often threatened me and often hit me. I repeatedly called the police but they never did anything."
She fled her brother’s house in 2000 but she had nowhere else to go. She ended up living on the streets, where she eventually died.
It's a tragic end to a tough life that once seemed full of promise.