Walter Mercado

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Walter Mercado
Walter Mercado Salinas

(1932-03-09)9 March 1932 [1] [2] [3]
Died2 November 2019(2019-11-02) (aged 87)
Nationality Puerto Rican
Education University of Puerto Rico
Known for
  • Astrologer
  • actor
  • dancer
  • writer
  • television personality
Movement Sanford Meisner
AwardsMr. Televisión (N.Y.C.)
Señor Televisión (D.R.)

Walter Mercado Salinas [1] [lower-alpha 1] (9 March 1932 – 2 November 2019), [1] [2] [3] also known by his stage name Shanti Ananda, was a Puerto Rican astrologer, actor, dancer, and writer, best known as a television personality for his shows as an astrologer. His astrological predictions shows aired for decades in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States.

Puerto Rico Unincorporated territory of the United States

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and briefly called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.

Latin America Region of the Americas where Romance languages are primarily spoken

Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French are predominantly spoken; it is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America. The term "Latin America" was first used in an 1856 conference with the title "Initiative of the Americas. Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics", by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao. The term was used also by Napoleon III's French government in the 1860s as Amérique latine to consider French-speaking territories in the Americas, along with the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed, including the Spanish-speaking portions of the United States Today, areas of Canada and the United States where Spanish, Portuguese and French are predominant are typically not included in definitions of Latin America.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.


Early years

Mercado was born on 9 March 1932, [3] in Ponce, Puerto Rico, [3] where he spent his early childhood. His parents were José María Mercado, from San Germán, Puerto Rico, and Aída Salinas from Catalonia, Spain. [2] Mercado believed that he had spiritual abilities, even as a child. [4] He attended university majoring in pedagogy, psychology and pharmacy, and used these skills to teach others, to study the human mind and to learn about the healing properties of medicinal plants. [5]

Ponce, Puerto Rico Municipality of Puerto Rico

Ponce is both a city and a municipality on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. The city is the seat of the municipal government.

San Germán, Puerto Rico City and municipality of Puerto Rico

San Germán is a municipality located in the southwestern region of Puerto Rico, south of Mayagüez and Maricao, north of Lajas, east of Hormigueros and Cabo Rojo, and west of Sabana Grande. San Germán is spread over eighteen wards plus San Germán Pueblo. It is both a principal city of the San Germán–Cabo Rojo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Mayagüez–San Germán–Cabo Rojo Combined Statistical Area. San Germán is the second oldest city of Puerto Rico, after San Juan. The island of Puerto Rico was once split between the San Juan and the San Germán municipalities. The latter covered the western half of Puerto Rico, and extended from the western shores of the island to Arecibo in the north and Ponce in the south.

Catalonia Autonomous area of northeastern Spain

Catalonia is an autonomous community on the northeastern corner of Spain, self-designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.

Professional career


Mercado Salinas studied singing and had a talent for dancing. He also studied classical and modern ballet. He was one of the most prolific dancers in Puerto Rico. [5] He was the dancing partner of comedian Velda González. [5]

Ballet form of performance dance

Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology. It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres and cultures. Ballet has been taught in various schools around the world, which have historically incorporated their own cultures and as a result, the art has evolved in a number of distinct ways. See glossary of ballet.

Velda González de Modestti was a Puerto Rican actress, dancer, comedian, politician and former Senator. She was a member of the Senate of Puerto Rico from 1981 to 2005.


Walter Mercado worked as an actor in the Puerto Rican telenovelas Un adiós en el recuerdo (A Farewell to the Memory) and Larga distancia (Long Distance), and also had a dramatic arts school called Walter Actors Studio 64. [5] [6]

Telenovela Television genre

A telenovela is a type of a limited-run television serial drama or soap opera produced primarily in Latin America. The word combines tele and novela. Similar genres around the world include teleserye (Philippines), téléroman, or simply dramas.


I always give the touch of love and they call me the Walter of Miracles

Walter Mercado to WLRN [7]

His TV debut as an entertainer came when Puerto Rican producer Elín Ortíz invited him to perform on his TV show when one guest artist did not show up. Walter Mercado happened to be at the station and Ortiz asked Mercado to use the 15-minute allotment scheduled for the other guest, to make astrological predictions wearing colorful and extravagant robes. After that, Mercado was made a regular in the show making astrological predictions. [5] He would frequently appear in heavily-decorated costumes and capes. [8]

In 1970, Mercado started his regular astrology segment in El Show de las 12. He enhanced his studies with formal study into astrology, tarot, and other occult disciplines. Mercado hosted a weekly astrology television show at WKAQ-TV, Channel 2/Telemundo. After several years, when the network changed its programming, Mercado moved his show to WRIK-TV (channel 7 in Ponce) where he hosted it for many years. [5] Westinghouse was a steady and long-time sponsor. [2] In the 1980s, his show was seen on several TV channels throughout Latin America and the United States. [5] When Tommy Muñiz bought WRIK-TV, Mercado stayed for two years then moved his show to WKBM-TV, Channel 11/Tele Once (later renamed WLII-TV/Univision). In addition to the TV programs, Mercado also wrote his predictions for newspapers, magazines, and web pages. He was a syndicated writer in the Miami Herald . [2] He also appeared on various radio segments. [5]

El Show de las 12 is a Puerto Rican midday variety television series airing on WKAQ-TV, and later on the nationwide Telemundo network, and hosted by Eddie Miro for most of its run. It aired every week-day for 40 years until its cancellation on February 25, 2005.

Astrology Pseudoscience claiming celestial objects influence human affairs

Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and some—such as the Hindus, Chinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from which it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.

Tarot Cards used for games or for divination

The tarot is a pack of playing cards, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as Italian tarocchini, French tarot and Austrian Königrufen, of which many are still played today. In the late 18th century, some tarot packs began to be used as a trend for divination via tarot card reading and cartomancy leading to custom packs developed for such occult purposes.

In 1986, Mercado was awarded the title Mr. Televisión by the Asociación de Cronistas del Espectáculo de Nueva York (Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York). By the end of the 1980s, Mercado had authored seven books, of which one, Más allá del horizonte (Beyond the Horizon), was published in three languages (Spanish, English and Portuguese). [5]

From the mid 1990s until 2010, Mercado's show aired in the Univision network throughout the Americas, but on 8 January 2010, after a fifteen-year relationship, he announced that he and Univision had parted ways. [9] He was managed by entrepreneur Bill Bakula. [10] From 1994 to 2009, he also appeared on Primer Impacto , which airs on the Univision network in the United States.

In 2014, Walter Mercado established a business partnership with Entertainment Events AZ, a Phoenix-based marketing and mobile application Development Company. In 2014 he introduced his dating site and his "Línea Cautivadora", which consists of Zodiac Soaps, body lotions, body mists, aromatic candles, and beaded jewelry. [11] On 2 February 2015, Walter Mercado and Entertainment Events AZ launched The site was developed to allow Mercado's millions of fans an opportunity to hear their daily horoscopes, get tarot readings, zodiac compatibility, predictions and ask Walter Mercado questions. [12] His website received over 1 million visits in the first month. [13]

In May 2015, Walter Mercado and Entertainment Events AZ launched mobile applications for IOS (iTunes) and the Android market. In less than two months the applications were ranked #2 in Mexico for entertainment applications and 144th in the United States. [14] [15] In October 2015, Mercado announced his 2016 predictions available on his official website, [16]

Mercado continued to do public appearances [17] while his and web property and mobile applications are managed by Entertainment Events AZ.

Name change

In October 2010, Mercado changed his name to "Shanti Ananda", a translation in Sanskrit of "peace happiness." [18] He says a "being of light" imparted a spiritual revelation to him, which he refers to as his "authentic mystic name."

In January 2012, Mercado lost a lawsuit against Bart Enterprises International, which he was trying to prevent from using his name and likeness in future commercial ventures. Mercado signed a contract with the company in 1995. He severed ties with the company in 2006, which resulted in litigation being filed by both parties against each other. Chief Judge Sandra Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that Bart Enterprises can continue using Mercado's name and likeness in future commercial projects. [1] When asked about his legal case over the rights to his name he replied, "I worked for many years, and gave some releases without thinking much about human wickedness." [19] [20]

Personal life

In 2003 he announced that he maintained a "spiritual relationship" with the Brazilian actress and dancer Mariette Detotto, with whom he shared a TV program. He always maintained his residence in Puerto Rico. [5]

Decline in health and death

In January 2012, Mercado was flown to Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, with cardiac problems. [19] [20] He said he "had gone and seen death and came back to life again". Since the experience he said he had changed. He said he wanted to work with Puerto Rican youth, he planned to establish the Shanti Ananda foundation, create a mystic center, and donated three of his capes to a museum. Most of his capes had already been sold at auctions. [19] [20]

Mercado died on the night of Saturday, 2 November 2019, reportedly from renal failure, at Auxilio Mutuo Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to hospital spokeswoman Sofia Luquis. He was 87. [21]





Source: [27]


Source: [27]



See also


  1. This article uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Mercadoand the second or maternal family name is Salinas.

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