LEGENDARY astrologer and television personality Walter Mercado has died aged 87.
The Puerto Rican, who predicted Bill Clinton would become president, suffered kidney failure, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.
Mercado also correctly forecast Madonna would land the part of Eva Peron in the 1996 film version of the Broadway musical Evita.
Sofía Luquis, a spokeswoman for the Auxilio Mutuo Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said he died on Saturday evening.
The flamboyant astrologer was in bad health and had been in hospital since October, according to Telemundo Puerto Rico.
Mercado has influenced generations of people worldwide, winning over television audiences with his daily video horoscopes — which began airing in 1970.
Fans flooded social media with tributes to the psychic.
One wrote: “Wow. Walter Mercado. My grandmother would make the entire house shut up when he came on the screen. An icon. What a life. Thank you.”
Born in Ponce, Mercado later gained fame in south Florida with his daily horoscope segment on Spanish-language TV.
According to Associated Press, his predictions also included the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the birth of Julio Iglesias’ youngest son Enrique, and the birth of the daughter of the Brazilian presenter Xuxa.
‘LOTS AND LOTS OF LOVE’
Renowned for his colourful fashion sense – comprising long flowing robes and huge gemstone rings – his catchphrase to viewers was “Mucho, mucho Amore”, which means “Lots and lots of love”.
Speaking about his style, Mercado once told the Miami Herald: “I have always liked to speak to people very directly. I have used astrology to send positive messages: ‘You can do it, even if you fall, get back up again’.”
In October 2010, Mercado announced he was changing his name to “Shanti Ananda”.
The following year he was hospitalised after a cold turned into pneumonia.
It was later revealed that he’d suffered a heart attack.
Walter Mercado’s top five predictions
Walter Mercado’s predictions were a staple of Latin American TV for half a century. Here are his top five:
1 . Bill Clinton winning the 1992 US presidential election
2. Madonna would land the part of Eva Peron in the 1996 film version of the Broadway musical ‘Evita’
3. Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s death in 1997
4. The birth of Enrique Iglesias – the son of popular Spanish singer Julio Iglesias – in 1975
5. The birth of Brazilian presenter Xuxa’s daughter Sasha in 1998
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