One of the best things about growing up in the '90s was watching Primer Impacto and low-key freaking out about the news, only to later be reassured that the stars would perfectly align and eventually things would be OK. Every day at 5:45 p.m., we had a date with Walter Mercado, the extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender-nonconforming legend who charmed the world with his televised horoscopes.
It was the first time many of us encountered someone living outside of traditional gender norms, and even though the Latin-American community wasn't always widely and publicly accepting of people like the gender-nonconforming Walter at the time, he was a beloved star. Walter Mercado was Walter Mercado, and we all loved him as he was, with his fabulous rings, his intricate capes, his perfectly coiffed hair, and his delicate makeup.
Equal parts Oprah Winfrey, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, Walter's message was about spreading love and hope to his devoted viewers, reaching 120 million of them at his peak. (If you didn't sit through his horoscopes and wait until the end to recite alongside him, "y que reciban de mi mucha paz, pero sobre todo mucho, mucho, mucho . . . amor," did you even have a childhood?)
Then, one day, he mysteriously all but disappeared. Over a decade later, award-winning directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch, as well as producer Alex Fumero, found him and were able to capture Walter's final two years before his death on Nov. 2, 2019. Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado is the result, and it reveals what led the astrologer to stay away from the glitz and glamour he was once so used to.
Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado will have a Netflix release on July 8, when we'll finally know what happened to Walter as he grappled with aging and his legacy and prepared for one last star-studded spectacle.