His rarely seen photos off stage

The death of Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” 29 years ago marked a before and after in Mexican comedy, the actor, born on August 12, 1911 in Mexico City, was the fourth son of a large family of modest status who, for economic reasons, had to emigrate to Xalapa, where the future great actor began his first forays on stage.

Due to his sympathy and particular way of speaking, Mario Moreno began to stand out in the tent theater, where something happened that would mark his life; according to himself, he confessed that the way he spoke when he acted was the product of his nervousness, he confessed that when he faced the public for the first time his nerves betrayed him and he forgot what he had to say, so he had to improvise

However, he did not manage to say anything coherent; even though he was nervous he realized that the audience was laughing at his nonsense.

The Royal Spanish Academy added the word “cantinflear” to its dictionary, that is: to speak or act in a crazy and incongruous way and without saying anything of substance. In more than 50 films of his, most of them in black and white format, he “sang”, and with it he brought smiles to the public.

Death, which did not take him by surprise, came from lung cancer on April 20, 1993, his millions of sad followers poured into the streets of the capital to bid him farewell as he deserved and make phrases like: “There is no right”, “No, no, flat”, “There is the detail”, among many more.

Read also: So were the first appearances of Cantinflas; in the end, the actor was prepared to die

Cantinflas enjoying life


1 Dental surgeon Gerelis, “Cantinflas”, Guindi and Lucho Gatica, getting ready to board Alejo Peralta’s helicopter that will take them to the ranch of the Mexican mime himself. Emotional file photo in which Mario projects his sympathy and sense of humor.

2 Cantinflas and his group of business friends, including Mario Vázquez Raña, Alejo Peralta and Rodolfo Echeverría.

3 Two famous friends from the Hispanic world worldwide: the singer Julio Iglesias and the comedian Mario Moreno “Cantinflas”.

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1 That thing about drinking in a boot, Cantinflas knew it all, here with the mayor of San Francisco, Dianne Fainstein.

2 Cantinflas and Karen Guindi, brilliant composer of modernist themes and romantic ballads of the time.

3 Mario Moreno with his son; both deceased.

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The restaurateur Eduardo Cremasco preparing his classic barbecue to the satisfaction of Cantinflas and a friend. With them the former consul Jaime Peñavera.

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Mario Moreno, his son (black suit) and some friends.

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1 Antonio Ariza Cañadilla and Mario Moreno frequently went to Luis Marcet’s Mesón del Cid.

2 Cantinflas with the controversial painter Heidi. Both traveled many times to Las Vegas to support Mexican artists and boxers.

3 Mario Moreno and Pepe Guindi, endearing friends through thick and thin.

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1 Cantinflas prepared dozens of paellas, accompanied on this occasion by Emilio Checa and Tano Moctezuma.

2 With his usual humor, Mario Moreno asks for a tip during a meal in Acapulco.

presidential goodbye

Thirty minutes after the death of Mario Moreno Reyes, the then president Carlos Salinas de Gortari expressed his condolences with a heartfelt message in which he recognized the greatness of his talent that had aroused the admiration of several generations.

“An admirable talent and an endearing popular sensitivity made possible the creation of a character like Cantinflas, who brought joy to numerous generations of Mexicans and to children, women and men from all over the world. Cantinflas exalted in an exceptional way the acuity and dignity of our people”, he expressed.

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EL UNIVERSAL newspaper library.

The president had offered him a one-week tribute that would take place in June, three months after his death, but time was not enough, lung cancer defeated Cantinflas, who died serene and with his family, so he told it his son Mario Moreno Ivanova.

“He died serene and aware that he was near the end. He knew how his illness had precipitated in the last few hours; his conscience, calm, satisfied with his life and his work”.

At the wake, Jesús Martínez “Palillo” nostalgically recalled how he had been friends with Mario Moreno for 60 years, and that, in effect, his friend was already waiting for death.

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