Walter Mercado, the beloved psychic many people watched growing up on television in Puerto Rico and elsewhere, was born to parents who provided a unique mixture of religious and spiritual influence. Mercado, who wasn’t married, was linked to a Brazilian girlfriend over the years, although later denied having such an attachment.
Mercado, known for a flashy cape and daily horoscope readings, has died at the age of 87. Many people remember his message: “lots and lots of love.”
According to Telemundo PR, Walter Mercado Salinas died on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the Auxilio Mutuo Hospital in San Juan, a family spokesman confirmed. The cause of death was “apparent renal failure,” Telemundo reported. “I always give the touch of love and they call me the Walter of Miracles,” he once said.
Here’s what you need to know about Walter Mercado’s family:
1. Mercado’s Mother Was From Spain & Was Religious
According to Mitu, Walter Mercado was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. His mother was named Aída Salinas, and she was from Catalonia, Spain.
WLRN-TV reported that Walter “was raised by a Spanish mother who believed strongly in God.”
According to CBS Miami, Mercado said says his mother “often told him he was destined for greatness, for a life and legacy he truly believes was written in the stars since the beginning.”
“I respect the biblical God, but my God is love. The more love I give, the more love I receive,” Mercado said to the Miami Herald. He told People Magazine: “Since I was a child my mom would tell me, ‘Live day by day and you will never age. You will be ageless. If today is great, tomorrow will be better. Live today intensely.'”
When Mercado’s mother died in the 1990s, he told TV Azteca, “Now I understand that death is nothing more than a change of consciousness and costumes, but it still hurts and Walter Mercado is a human being.”
2. Mercado’s Father Was Puerto Rican & Tied to the Earth
Mercado’s father was named José María Mercado, and he was born in San Germán, Puerto Rico.
Mercado was born to a “Puerto Rican father who honored the earth and loved his plants,” according to WLRN-TV. He believed that he had spiritual abilities since childhood, including the “powers of astrology,” WLRN reported.
He also had a brother named Harry. When an exhibit recently honored Mercado’s life in Miami, it contained photos “with his brother Henry and his family in the farm in the Ponce area where he grew up,” according to The Miami Herald.
3. Mercado Described How he Grew Up a ‘Sickly’ Child to Become an Icon
Mercado spoke a lot about his upbringing when the exhibit on his life was shown in Miami, Florida.
“It’s been 50 years of work. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I feel proud of what they are doing [in my honor], and on the other hand, I still remember that skinny, sickly child that grew up in the countryside in Puerto Rico and dreamed until his dream came true,” Walter Mercado told People en Español
Mercado told CBS Miami: “I was very sick, but always dreaming,” said Mercado. “Always asking about the stars. Never looking to the earth or to the mud. The mud is not for me. To the heavens. I was a dreamer. And dreams come true.”
4. Mercado Didn’t Have a Wife But Once Said He Was in a Spiritual Relationship With a Brazilian Woman
Walter Mercado once found love with a Brazilian woman named Mariette Detotto.
A 2004 article in Cronica reported he intended to marry her and declared that he had found “pure and sincere love.”
He proclaimed that she was “my soulmate and I do not rule out marrying her.” In 2015, Mamas Latinas reported that “In real life, he has been in a relationship with Brazilian star Mariette Detotto since 2003.” He also ran a dating site, the site reported. However, AP reported that he later denied she was his girlfriend, saying, “I have no one. I have channeled my sexual energy into the good of humanity by praying for so many people who ask me for help.”
According to AP, Mercado had another girlfriend who died tragically. “The death of his girlfriend in a plane crash between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in 1968 plunged him into a depression” but took him on a spiritual quest to India and to seek a better understanding of death, the site reported.
Walter Mercado first reached an audience by starring in Telenovelas in Puerto Rico, according to Mitu. He also wrote books and newspaper columns over the years. He was in shows called Un adiós en el recuerdo (A Farewell to the Memory) and Larga distancia (Long Distance). He set up a “dramatic arts school” called Walter Actors Studio 64, the site reports.
Mercado’s website declares that he was “acclaimed by millions of people around the world” and was a “famous psychic, astrologer and writer has dedicated more than twenty-five years to inspire and illuminate the crowds with his advice and amazing predictions.”
Mercado was also a legend in Miami, Florida. According to WLRN, fans there were treated to an August 2019 exhibit called “Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado.”
Among items on display: His capes. Mercado told the station that the exhibit was “for the people to know that Walter is not only the cape or the hair,” but also to learn about him as a human being.
Mercado studied many religions. “His advanced studies include: pharmaceutical sciences, psychology, astrology, cosmobiology, parasicology, theater and dance. He is also an expert in numerology and interpretation of dreams,” his website says.
5. Mercado’s Niece Confirmed His Death in a Puerto Rican Hospital
According to Primer Ahora, Mercado’s niece Dannette Benet Mercado confirmed Mercado’s death. Mercado was “in a delicate state of health” for several weeks.
Walter Mercado had suffered from various health problems for years. Primer Ahora reports that Mercado previously had suffered a heart attack back in 2012, and received medical intervention in Cleveland, Ohio. Additionally, according to the site, last September, Mercado “suffered a fracture after a fall in the bathroom.”
El Nuevo Dia reported that Mercado’s back was fractured in that fall. He told the site then, “Now I have a little cough in my throat, but I am in total healing. Everything is very good, I already feel good, I walk around the house very well and I am working on my projects.”