Netflix unveils the last years of famous astrologer Walter Mercado in a documentary
Entitled "Mucho Mucho Amor", the documentary will be coming to Netflix this summer, after screening at Sundance and Tribeca festivals.
As popular as Oprah but in fancy Puerto Rican-style tunics, an estimated 120 million people turned on their TVs every day to watch the astrologer read their future in the stars. Something that Walter Mercado had been doing for 30 years, both on radio and television, becoming not only the most iconic Latin psychic in history but a queer symbol, even though he never spoke openly of his sexuality.
Yet he mysteriously disappeared in 2007. Where did he go? What happened to him? Netflix has announced that they will broadcast at the end of the summer the documentary "Mucho Mucho Amor", directed by filmmakers Cristina Constantini and Kareem Tabsch, who together with producer Alex Fumero, started a search for the artist in his last years and collected the testimony of his day-to-day life, his memories, and even the secrets that, in his old age, he dared to confess.
"I like to say that he was something like an Oprah, Mr. Rogers, and a bit of Liberace, mixed together", said Costantini in reference to the iconic astrologer who died on November 2, 2019, at the age of 87 due to kidney failure.
The documentary also features personalities such as Raúl De Molina, Eugenio Derbez and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who were close to Latin America's most popular psychic.
Born on March 9, 1932 (Pisces) in the Puerto Rican city of San Germán, he grew up in the sugar cane fields and always felt great interest in the human mind and the medicinal properties of plants. Therefore, as soon as he was able to attend university, he studied pedagogy, psychology, and pharmacy.
However, it was written in the stars that his destiny was to be an artist, so much so that in addition to learning ballet and singing, he participated in soap operas, and even founded a drama academy.
Although Mercado never spoke publicly about his sexual orientation, his androgynous appearance elevated him as a gay icon.
His television popularity fell almost out of the sky when he debuted on a Telemundo show after the guest artist didn't show up, and for 15 minutes he fascinated the audience with his predictions and extravagant costumes. From there, he became a frequent guest on television.
By the 1980s, Mercado's show was causing a sensation in Latin America and the United States, and was a usual signature on the Miami Herald; he had also already written seven books.
But gold, they say, attracts the attention of magpies. If his fans lost track of him in 2007, three years later, in 2010, Mercado reappears to dispute his stage name with his former managers, having to change it to Shanti Ananda's, which he said was a spiritual revelation.
His personal life also remained in a haze...
"Spiritually" related, he said, to Brazilian actress and former Playboy girl Mariette Detotto, he avoided speaking publicly about his sexual orientation, although his attitude and quirky androgynous dress elevated him as a gay icon, while his silence maintained the favor of his ultra-conservative fans.
What did he do those last two years of his life that he spent apart from the world? Did he follow some revelation from the stars or did he feel old and tired of his great popularity? You'll have to wait at least between the solstice and the summer equinox to find out. In the meantime, have lots and lots of love.