Friday, 10 July 2020

This weekend, I am mostly dressing casual...











...just like the legendary Puerto Rican television astrologer and cult icon [who bore a striking resemblance to my Nan towards the end] Walter Mercado, subject of a recent (Netflix-only at the moment, more's the pity) documentary about his life, named after his catchphrase: Mucho Mucho Amor.

From the New York Post:
Mercado’s career began in 1969 when he began reading horoscopes on television in his native Puerto Rico. He eventually became an international phenomenon, known as much for his astrology shows as he was for his coiffed look and Liberace-like wardrobe of colourful suits and jewellery and signature crystal-bedecked capes.

While one might assume he was gay, it wasn’t something Mercado ever discussed. He was an open book with the film-makers, except with it came to his romantic life. “He didn’t like the labels and he didn’t kind of embrace them in any particular way,” co-director Kareem Tabsch said. “But, he was a queer icon. If you were a Latino, Latin American, like myself as a young queer kid watching for the first time, I recognized that sense of otherness in him that I saw in me. I was a much less fabulous version, but I could tell he was different in a way that I was different. And if there was that possibility that he was so loved in the Latino community being so different, that as a young queer person, maybe I too could be loved.”

Mercado was in his 80s when [they] approached him about making the documentary. He agreed after they told him their astrological signs.

By then, Mercado’s life in the spotlight was long gone. His career stumbled during a seven-year legal battle that began in 2006 over the rights to his name and likeness with his former manager Bill Bakula.

Mercado was 87 when he died in November 2019, not long after the doc had wrapped. “He’s our Mr. Rogers and our Oprah and our Liberace all combined into one,” co-director Cristina Costantini said. “I think on a certain level we were shocked that he agreed to do the film. But he so badly wanted to be a public guy, so badly wanted attention and wanted to make this his comeback. We thought it was going to be a comeback but it ended up being a swan song, of course. He really loved the lights and the camera. They gave him energy. They gave him life.”
Here's a trailer for what promises to be an extraordinary programme [and should it ever be shown on "proper telly", I might watch it]:


Extraordinary!

10 comments:

  1. Yikes! That's certainly a look.

    In some of those photos, it looks like Jennifer Saunders is underneath all that lot as part of a French and Saunders parody!

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    1. I think you're onto something - maybe it's all just a set-up, and Dawn's behind the camera?! Jx

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  2. And just imagine if he and Liberace would have gotten together as a couple!!!! Then entering a room would be better than any gay pride parade.

    Cheers to the weekend boys💋🍾💋

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    1. That would be a case of "bread and bread", methinks - and imagine the screaming rows about decor?

      Happy Friday! Jx

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  3. Definitely a French & Saunders spoof
    or should be.

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    1. All that's missing is the "comedy turban". Jx

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  4. Actually I think it IS Sandi Toksvig

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