The famous astrologer Walter Mercado passed away at 87
The favorite astrologer of Latin American television died on Saturday in Puerto Rico.
There’s no Latino who doesn't remember seeing his family paralyzed when it was time for Walter Mercado to read us the horoscope on the TV screen.
His colored robes and multiple rings framed a charming character who brought together more than 120 million spectators daily for 30 years in the waves of Telemundo and Univisión.
Mercado’s impact on the collective unconscious was such that his aesthetic is considered a pioneer in the LGBTQ community of Latin America, and his "much, much love" is a mantra in the language of many Hispanics around the world.
That is why the community is in mourning after the iconic and extravagant character of popular culture said goodbye last Saturday on his home island, Puerto Rico, at 87.
After a heart problem in December 2011, the health of the glamorous astrologer began to decline, and finally died after the collapse of his renal system, the Associated Press reported.
Born on March 9, 1932, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Mercado was the son of a Puerto Rican and a Spaniard and grew up convinced of his spiritual abilities.
After training as a pedagogue and psychologist, he ventured into classical dance, becoming one of the most important dancers in Puerto Rico, as El Nuevo Día recalled.
It was his work as an actor in soap operas as Un adios en el Recuerdo and Larga Distancia that opened the doors to the small screen. But the invitation of producer Elín Ortíz to his program would forever change Mercado’s career and the history of Latin American television.
His predictions became the spectators' favorites since 1970 between daily horoscopes, tarot readings, and a unique staging, marked by his peculiar presence and his famous wishes of "much, much love" to all viewers.
After 15 years of work in the Univisión network, Mercado retired from daily TV, opening his website where he offered tarot services, questions and answers, and his traditional horoscopes.
In October of that year, he announced his name change to "Shanti Ananda" (peace and happiness in Sanskrit). In 2012, a heart problem made him change paths and decided to dedicate himself to the Shanti Ananda Foundation in Puerto Rico, a mystical center for young people.