The Spanish-speaking community is mourning the loss of Walter Mercado, the legendary astrologist, TV personality and artist who died Saturday night at 87.
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, under the zodiac sign of Pisces on March 9, 1936, the iconic astrologist left horoscopes until January 2020, including predictions for the new year, his nieces said.
Here are some of the reasons Walter Mercado was such a legend in Latin America:
Connection with People
His catch phrase "above all lots and lots of love," was an example of his inspiring message as his fame grew beyond Puerto Rico in 1980. People who worked with him say he used all his talent and power to help humanity.
U.S. & World
Mercado wore capes, brocade coats and notorious colorful rings. He had a collection of more than 2,000 capes with feathers, stones and embroideries. To top his look, Mercado styled his hair in a very done up way with a platinum blonde color. Some of his capes will be donated to museums, a family member told El Nuevo Día.
A Voice for the LGBTQ Community
Although Mercado never disclosed his sexual orientation publicly, his screen presence was a comfort for many members of the LGBTQ community. Friends considered him a brave person for portraying his flamboyant image in a culture that has been historically dominated by homophobia and "machismo."
During a TV Series called "The History Behind the Myth," Mercado said he made his first prediction at the age of 6. He was in school when he told his teacher about a vision of the school bell falling. A day later an earthquake occurred and the bell fell. Some of his famous predictions include the death of "Madre Teresa de Calcuta," Madonna's main role in the movie "Evita" and the election of President Bill Clinton.
A World Outside Astrology
Even though Mercado focused his college studies in pharmacology, psychology and pedagogy, he also build a career as an actor and a dancer. His performance as an actor in soap operas and plays made him more famous in Puerto Rico. For islanders Mercado is not only the legendary astrologist. He was also a star who appeared in soap operas filmed in Miami and Puerto Rico, during the island's television glory days decades ago.