(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Tv astrologer Walter Mercado, whose glamorous persona manufactured him a star in Latin media and a cherished icon for gay persons in most of the Spanish-speaking globe, has died. He was 88.
Mercado was recognised during Latin American for the melodrama of his day by day horoscopes, shipped on internationally broadcast networks these types of as Univision with an exaggerated trilling of the “r”. He favored colorful brocaded capes and large gemstone rings, which he flashed though pointing at viewers.
Mercado never ever publicly mentioned his sexual orientation but his monitor existence was a source of comfort for numerous persons in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities in the course of Latin American and Latin communities in the U.S., stated Alex Fumero, a Los Angeles-dependent producer who has put in two a long time operating on a documentary about him.
“This is a society which is been dominated by machismo and homophobia for a incredibly long time,” Fumero reported in a cell phone interview. “He was really brave.”
Fumero claimed Mercado’s silence on his orientation may well have authorized him to retain the adoration of LGBTQ enthusiasts and keep acceptance from conservative Latins who could have rejected an overtly gay television star. Fumero mentioned a single LGBTQ activist explained to him, “You never talk to about what you can see,” introducing that he thinks that was the mind-set held by many from Mercado’s generation.
“It’s the plausible deniability that chauvinist or homophobic audiences need to have in order to give Walter the pass that they needed…to get pleasure from the information he was sending them,” Fumero extra.
Fumero stated he grew up watching Mercado and recalled his grandmother shushing him just about every time the astrologer sent his predictions: “If Walter was on Television set, most people experienced to be quiet.”
Clinic spokeswoman Sofía Luquis informed TheConnected Pushon Sunday that Mercado died from kidney failure at the Auxilio Mutuo Medical center in San Juan late Saturday. He experienced been residing in the suburb of Cupey and had expended quite a few times in the medical center before his loss of life.
Mercado was born in Ponce, one particular of Puerto Rico’s biggest towns. Despite the fact that he took college courses in pharmacology, psychology and pedagogy, he grew to become a nicely-identified dancer and theater actor and also appeared in various cleaning soap operas. He worked briefly for Television stations based in the U.S. Caribbean territory prior to moving to South Florida, exactly where he joined Univision.
Mercado, whose recognition began to soar in the 1980s, had a selection of more than two,000 capes, such as some with feathers, valuable stones and distinctive embroideries.
His finest-acknowledged capture phrase was “Above all, lots and a lot of really like.”
“He is just one of those persons who made use of his celebrity and power to achieve millions in buy to encourage persons with great messages,” stated Aida Levitan, who helped arrange an exhibition in August at the HistoryMiami museum to honor Mercado.
She reported hundreds of men and women showed up and desired to meet him and choose photos, and he agreed to it all. “It’s not effortless at the age of 88 to confront five hundred men and women striving to choose photos. He hardly ever misplaced his awesome,” Levitan recalled in a phone interview with the AP. “He utilised all his gifts and abilities for the good of mankind, and that is what can make him so pleasing.”
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Mercado, nonetheless, also faced some authorized battles. In 1998, he received in problems for endorsing alleged health and magnificence items and was named in a class-motion lawsuit that accused him of deceptive persons into getting beads with supposed unique powers. The president of the jewellery organization, Distinctive Gems International Corp., was later on sentenced to fourteen decades in jail for defrauding sixteen,000 men and women in a $90 million rip-off.
In October 2010, Mercado introduced he was changing his name to “Shanti Ananda.” That same yr, he stopped taking pictures his section for the Univision Spanish-language Television set channel. Months afterwards, he started to supply everyday horoscopes by El Nuevo Herald newspaper in Miami.
Mercado was hospitalized in December 2011 in Puerto Rico subsequent a chilly that turned into pneumonia. His health and fitness ailment worsened, and he was transferred to a medical center in Ohio. It was afterwards revealed that he experienced endured a heart attack.
In 2014, he released a web site named passionlatinos.com that supplied horoscopes, online courting and an array of solutions referred to as “Captivating,” that provided fragrances, candles, soaps and system lotions aimed at prosperity, sexual intercourse, wellbeing, peace and like.
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