As for entertainment in Mexico, Mario Moreno Cantinflas would never be forgotten. Though long since deceased, he would be remembered forever for the indelible legacy he left behind. Hollywood’s Charlie Chaplin named him the best comedian alive and even in death. Google Doodle in his trademark guise honored him on his reputed 107th birthday in 2018. Cantinflas more than entertained his people as he was a very charitable man both during and after his illustrious career.
Mario Moreno Cantinflas – biography
Mario Fortino Alfonso Moreno Reyes is the name of the actor when he was born on August 12, 1911 in Santa María la Redonda, Mexico. Born into a very poor family, Cantinflas grew up in Tepito, a deprived neighborhood at the time. His parents Pedro Moreno Esquivel and María de la Soledad Reyes Guízar had him along with 7 other children.
Moreno’s father was a postman who barely took care of his home, but his son seemed determined to bring out the best in himself.
A natural born funnyman, the young Cantinflas started singing and dancing on the streets for money and soon became part of a traveling tent show. Moreno chose the name Cantinflas as a nickname to hide from his parents, who didn’t buy the idea of an entertainment career for their son.
Mario Moreno Cantinflas began MCing events in the 1930s, creating his signature personality in the process – the most prominent of which was wearing large pants held at the waist by a rope.
Although his film debut in 1936’s No te Engañes Corazón ( Don’t fool love ) didn’t see much success, things quickly changed when he teamed up with producer Santiago Reachi and made his breakthrough film in 1940. Ahí está el detalle ( Here is the point ).
Mario Moreno Cantinflas proved that his first success was no fluke Ni sangre, ni arena (neither blood nor sand) and voila! Mexico had just produced a world famous star.
His fame rose even further with his Hollywood debut in 1956’s Around the World in 80 Days. For his performance, he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. The film, which won the Oscar for best picture, did so well at the box office that it made Cantinflas the highest-paid actor in the world.
When it came to his next Hollywood film Pepe Mario Moreno Cantinflas didn’t live up to expectations and has returned to directing Mexican films and even producing his own under his eponymous production company. He retired in the early 1980s.
Unfortunately, Cantinfla’s bad habit of smoking was severe when lung cancer took his life on April 20, 1993 at the age of 81. A three-day funeral, more akin to a national event, was held in his honor. Presidents as well as the US Senate paid their respects.
wife and family
Russian Valentina Ivanova Zubareff was the one and only woman to marry Mario Moreno Cantinflas. They tied the knot on October 27, 1936 and remained together until her death in 1966, after which Cantinflas never remarried. Although his marriage to Zubareff did not produce a child, the actor fathered a son with another woman. His wife later adopted the son and named him Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova.
He was the only child Mario MorenoCantinflas had and sadly in May 2017 at the age of 57 he died after suffering a heart attack. His death came 16 years after his 8-year battle with Columbia Pictures over the rights to his father’s 34 films. The court ruled in favor of Columbia, who argued they paid for the films 40 years earlier.
At the same time, Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova was against his father’s nephew Eduardo Moreno Laparade for the rights to the same films. Laparade argued that Cantinflas gave him the rights to the film on his deathbed, while Ivanova argued that they belonged to him since he was the sole heir to his father’s estate and that there was no way his ailing father could have signed a document his deathbed. Laparade twice won the case in court, but Ivanova appealed, ruling that the court should end a 20-year legal battle in his favor in 2005.
Facts about the actor
• Cantinflas, who grew up in need, could easily relate to the poor in society and for this reason he divided his annual income in half and donated half to solve the needs of the poor masses.
• Moreno made a lot of money from films. About two decades into his career, he was worth $25 million, a figure he maintained until his death.
• Cantinflas films continue to make money for Columbia Pictures in modern times. Reportedly, $4 million was earned from foreign distribution in the new millennium.
• Mario Moreno Cantinflas was a member of the Masonic secret society.
• He was 5 feet 8 inches tall.
• A passionate Cantiflas escaped from agricultural college at the age of 15 to take part in a tent exhibition. A decision his parents would later be grateful for.
• Cantinflas was a strong advocate of trade union laws.