Walter Mercado, who is dead at the age of 87 years old, was a well-known astrologer in Puerto Rico. Many people grew up watching Mercado give daily horoscope readings on television, often wearing a satin cape. This made Mercado a spiritual icon in many households. 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.
According to Telemundo PR, he was a “versatile artist” who served as an “actor, dancer, writer and television figure achieving worldwide success.” He also went by the name Shanti Ananda. According to AP, Mercado’s predictions included “the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the birth of the youngest son of Julio Iglesias, the leading role of Madonna in the movie ‘Evita,” the birth of the daughter of the Brazilian presenter Xuxa and the election of American president Bill Clinton.”
Fans flooded social media with tributes as news of Walter Mercado’s death spread. “RIP Walter Mercado. A true icon,?” wrote one, echoing the thoughts of others. “Americans have a phrase to refer to people like Walter Mercado, that does not have to my knowledge a direct translation…They would say he was ‘larger than life.’ He was a mythical figure…” wrote another.
“Wow. Walter Mercado,” wrote one woman after hearing about his death. “My grandmother would make the entire house shut up when he came on the screen. An icon. What a life. Thank you.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mercado’s Health Had Been Failing for Weeks
According to Primer Ahora, Mercado’s niece Dannette Benet Mercado also 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 …”
“Each of his words, each of his phrases, are full of love, sweetness and understanding, managing to penetrate the hardest of hearts. Walter has established himself as a unique authority in the mystical field, with his popularity he has reached the most unusual places,” Walter’s website says.
2. Walter Mercado Was Born in Puerto Rico to a Religious Spanish Mother & Puerto Rican Father Deeply Tied to the Earth
According to Mitu, Walter Mercado was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. His mother was named Aída Salinas, and his father was named José María Mercado.
The mother was from Catalonia, Spain, and the father was from San Germán, Puerto Rico. Mercado’s fame first blew up in Puerto Rico, where he stayed, according to the site.
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.”
WLRN-TV reported that Walter “was raised by a Spanish mother who believed strongly in God and a Puerto Rican father who honored the earth and loved his plants.” He believed that he had spiritual abilities since childhood, including the “powers of astrology,” WLRN reported.
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.”
3. Mercado Got His Start on Telenovelas & Guided Fans to ‘Universal Consciousness’
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.”
He was “characterized by his positivism and great spirituality,” and “guides his fans to reach a high level of universal consciousness and to the realization of…dreams,” the website said.
4. There Was Recently an Exhibit on Mercado’s Life in Miami, Capes and All
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. Fans Flooded Social Media With Tributes, Underscoring Why Walter Mercado Mattered to People
People filled social media with tributes. “walter mercado is one of those pop culture figures that every latinx person feels deeply attached to. julio torres did this very sweet video for hispanic heritage month where he talks about why walter’s so important. he was the patron saint for the weird kids,” wrote one.
Another wrote, “Very sad for the death of the dear @waltermercadotv, a being with a special gift and exemplary kindness.”
“RIP to Walter Mercado, the man who told us everyday to look to the stars and to live, sobre todo, with mucho, mucho amor. Truly an icon who will be missed,” wrote another.