ne of Puerto Rico’s most well-known celebrities, television personality and astrologer Walter Mercado, died of apparent kidney failure at a hospital in San Juan on Sunday, according to a family spokesperson who confirmed his passing to Telemundo.
Mercado was 88.
Mercado became known throughout Latin America and the U.S. through his television show, with his signature, flamboyant style and his colorful capes.
Mercado was born in Ponce, one of Puerto Rico’s largest cities. He worked briefly for TV stations based in the U.S. Caribbean territory before moving to South Florida.
There, he gained fame for his daily horoscope segment on Spanish-language TV, delivered in a dramatic fashion with an exaggerated trilling of the “r″ sound. He favored long and colorful brocades and huge gemstone rings, which he flashed while pointing to viewers.
His catch phrase to his audience: “Sobre todo, mucho, mucho amor,” which translates to “Above all, lots and lots of love.”
Mercado never publicly stated his sexuality, but he was an icon in the gay community as someone who challenged the conservative television culture in Latin America.