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How Did Walter Mercado Die? Details On Death Of The Legendary Celebrity Astrologer At 87

Photo: Netflix
How Did Walter Mercado Die? Details On Death Of The Legendary Celebrity Astrologer At 87

He was a larger-than-life personality who developed a cult following throughout his career. He turned the art of astrology into a performance all its own, and earned a lifetime of fans that spanned generations.

And though he passed away in November 2019, his spirit lives on.

How did Walter Mercado die?

Born Walter Mercado Salinas in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the man who we would all come to know and love as Walter Mercado was a multi-talented singer, dancer, and actor, before he became known as a celebrity astrologer.

Thanks to a chance invitation, Mercado got his "big break." Television host Elin Ortiz originally booked another guest to appear on his television show.

When the guest that was booked didn't show up, Ortiz told Mercado to come out onstage with long, flowing robes and give outrageous astrological predictions. He did so, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

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Now, there's a new Netflix documentary streaming that covers the legendary Mercado's life called Mucho, Mucho Amor.

Here's what we know about Walter Mercado, the man who became a cross-cultural legend. 

His predictions aired primarily on Primer Impacto

Univision's hit show, Primer Impacto, is a variety show of sorts that airs everything from hard-hitting news pieces to special entertainment segments.

And, Walter Mercado's predictions used to air as a special segment on this variety show, and were amongst the most popular segments on the show when they would air. 

At the height of his popularity, Mercado reached millions of homes. 

Considering that Mercado rose to fame prior to the Internet and social media becoming a thing, the fact that he was able to reach so many people was nothing if not impressive.

He was internationally syndicated, and reached an estimated 120 million viewers a day throughout his 15 years as an astrologer.

He was known for his loving sign-off. 

After each segment, Mercado would send love to his audience with the following, "Pero sobre todo, con mucho, mucho amor” — “But above all, with lots and lots of love.”

He would then blow kisses to the audience at home. This caring send-off endeared him to generations of fans across Puerto Rico, the United States, and Latin America. 

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Mercado was an icon to LatinX LGBTQIA youth. 

Mercado eventually gained icon status among LGBTQ Latinos. He started wearing sequins, velvet, jewels, gems, and makeup years before it became more accepted in the Latino culture. 

He'd suffered with illnesses in recent years. 

Mercado seemed to be in pretty good health for most of his life, but in 2012, he was rushed to the hospital with cardiac issues.

He, fortunately, pulled through them, but fans knew that he was getting older, and his time was therefore limited. 

Mercado died of kidney failure. 

In November 2019, a spokeswoman at the Auxilio Mutuo Hospital in San Juan revealed that Mercado had died of kidney failure. However, that is all the information that was released as the hospital wasn't allowed to give any further deatils about his passing. 

Our thoughts are with Walter Mercado and his family during this difficult time. 

The new Netflix documentary about Mercado is out now.

Fans of the astrology legend can now stream his new doc, Mucho, Mucho Amor. In the film, he reveals his retirement plans, which were none.

He says, "No never! I will never retire. I’m going to die with my boots on. What are you saying, retire? I will never tire. I’m full of energy. I’m 20 years old and I began a new journey in the life of a hero. Life is so short. I am Walter, a body, but more important than the body is my spirit."

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in November 2019 and was updated with the latest information.