Walter Mercado, the internationally syndicated Puerto Rican astrologer who captivated Latino families across the world with his extravagant televised readings of horoscopes, died on Saturday at the Auxilio Mutuo hospital in San Juan. He was 87.
His death was confirmed by Sofia Luquis, a hospital spokeswoman.
For 15 years, during the final segment of the Spanish news program “Primer Impacto,” Mr. Mercado, a former dancer and actor, would dramatically read the horoscopes of the 12 zodiac signs into the camera, rolling his r’s with gusto and elegantly twirling his hands for emphasis. Mr. Mercado marched his way into the homes of Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as those in the United States, reaching an estimated 120 million viewers a day for years.
In sequined capes, blazers and vests, and often festooned with baubles and brooches, Mr. Mercado let viewers know whether it was going to be a good month or a bad one, or if they simply had to ponerte las pilas, or get to work.
He ended every segment the same way. “God bless you all, today tomorrow and always,” he would say, “and I hope you receive from me peace, a lot of peace.” Then, as he brought both of his hands to his lips to blow a kiss to the viewers he would sign off, “Pero sobre todo, mucho, mucho, mucho amor.”
A complete obituary will follow.