Cepillin, an iconic Mexican clown who found fame on television and by singing children’s songs, is dead at the age of 75.
The clown’s full name was Ricardo González Gutiérrez “Cepillín.” What was his cause of death? According to the El Paso Times, Cepillin died on Monday, March 8, 2021, of respiratory failure due to spinal cancer. He was in the intensive care unit at the hospital for several days when he passed away.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Cepillin died at Hospital Corporativo Satelite in Mexico.
According to the newspaper, Cepillin was “a famous Mexican TV clown known for singing popular children songs.” Cepillin, reported Milenio, “entertained the childhood of thousands in Latin America.” WREG-TV called him “one of Latin-America’s most famous clowns.”
People offered tributes to Cepillin on social media, with many echoing a similar theme. “Rip Cepillín. You made my childhood better with your songs,” wrote one man.
Here’s what you need to know:
Cepillin’s Son Says His Dad Approached Cancer With Bravery
The clown’s son, Ricardo González Jr., thought his father might recover from the cancer. Cepillin also took the news he had cancer “calmly,” according to the El Paso Times.
“You know my dad. He said, ‘I have to die of something.’ He turned to see us and said, ‘I have cancer,'” he said to the newspaper.
According to the Spanish-language publication Milenio, Cepillin was first hospitalized with back pain, at which time the cancer was discovered. His son confirmed his death to that publication, saying that his dad was “intubated after presenting cardiac complications and with pneumonia after being operated on the spine,” the site reported.
According to Milenio, he was initially hospitalized after a fall, and underwent spinal surgery, initially recovering from it. He took a turn for the worse over the weekend.
Cepillin Was Originally a Dentist Who Dressed as a Clown so Children Wouldn’t Be Scared
A GoFundme account was started to raise money to help with Cepillin’s medical costs. It’s raised more than $12,000.
According to ABC 7, Cepillin was a dentist by trade. He was well known throughout Mexico due to his children’s songs, including “La Feria de Cepillín,” “Tomás” and “En el bosque de la China.”
He appeared on television and had a children’s show called El Show de Cepillin.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, he started entertaining children in his dental work. “In order to keep children from crying or getting scared, he painted his face like a clown,” reported WKRN-TV, which added that his stage name means “tiny toothbrush.” He eventually released 25 albums of children’s songs and received Grammy nominations, according to the television station.
News3 reported that Cepillin was credited with helping give actress Salma Hayek her big break.
Tributes flowed in. “I’m so sad about this. Like many, every birthday my parents would wake me up with his version of ‘Las Mañanitas’ and he helped me get rid of my fear of clowns. What a kind soul RIP Cepillín,” a woman wrote on Twitter.