40+ Facts About Freddie Mercury’s Controversial Life

40+ Facts About Freddie Mercury’s Controversial Life

On November 24, 2022, it was the 31st year since the passing of Freddie Mercury, the frontman of Queen and one of the most prominent music icons of the 20th century. He gained worldwide admiration from his impressive vocal abilities, captivating performances, and charming demeanor. Although he had a massive fanbase, his life had also been associated with various controversies, enigmas, and sensational stories. Join us as we uncover 45 unknown tidbits and undisclosed facts about Freddie Mercury’s eccentric existence.

Real Name

Farrokh Bulsara, also known as Freddie Mercury, was born on September 5, 1946 on the island of Zanzibar. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, were Parsees who came from India. They relocated to Zanzibar on the command of the British Colonial Office.

Mercury had an aversion towards his name and his peers at Panchgani boarding school started referring to him as Freddie due to the challenging pronunciation. The inspiration behind the Mercury reference was a line from his song My Fairy King.

An Ancient Religion

Due to their Parsi heritage, the Bulsara family (which included Freddie) practiced Zoroastrianism, a religion that originated in ancient Persia (now Iran) and was prevalent in India. The central figure of this religion was Zoroaster, who was regarded as the foremost and most significant prophet in history.

Zoroastrianism is actually one of the most ancient monotheistic religions globally, and has had a significant impact on other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam during its existence.

Affluent Childhood

Bomi Bulsara, who was Freddie’s father, had a job as a cashier for the British High Court. This meant he had to travel often between India and Zanzibar. However, this job also presented an opportunity for the family to acquire British citizenship and benefit from the associated rights.

Thanks for the instruction. Here’s a possible paraphrased version: Thanks to his father’s high income, Freddie had a luxurious upbringing in Stone Town, a vibrant area with many shops and markets that offered stunning vistas of the Indian Ocean. The family resided in a lavish apartment in this historic district of Zanzibar.

The Nanny

One more advantage enjoyed by Bulsara family was the availability of a considerable amount of household staff. As a matter of fact, Sabine, a nanny whose stern facial expression speaks volumes about her profession, was entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of Freddie, the child.Apart from the photos that exist of Sabine, there is minimal information available about her. The only solace we have is to speculate that she was the one to witness the initial beginnings of one of the most influential voices in the history of rock.

From Zanzibar to India

When Freddie turned five years old, he started his education at St. Joseph’s Convent Missionary School, which was managed by Anglican nuns. He continued his studies there for approximately three years until he turned eight. At that point, he and some members of his family were sent to India for further education.

During his time at St. Peters College in Panchgani, which is renowned for its excellent educational establishments, the boy Freddie overcame his shyness and began to develop his distinctive extroverted nature.

Philatelic Passion

Before his love for music, Freddie Mercury’s earliest hobby was collecting stamps from Zanzibar, the UK, and other British territories. This interest in philately lasted approximately three years, starting when he was nine years old and ending when he was twelve.

In 1993, the Postal Museum in London purchased the Freddie Mercury stamp collection, which has been exhibited with the collection of another iconic British musician, John Lennon, since 2016.

The Hectics

At St. Peters College, Freddie Mercury was introduced to the world of music. He gained skills in playing the piano, songwriting, and singing. He formed his inaugural band, The Hectics, in 1958 and performed at exclusive events within the school premises.

Farang Irani, Victory Rana, Derrick Branche, and Bruce Murray were all a part of The Hectics. Out of all the members, only Freddie and Bruce pursued a career in music. The group came to an end in 1962, which was the same year that Freddie returned to Zanzibar.

Flight to England

Starting from 1963, a sequence of social and political tensions emerged in Zanzibar, triggering what was known as the Zanzibar Revolution. The African insurgents aimed at dethroning Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah and setting up a self-governing regime.

Amidst the tense environment, the Bulsara family chose to relocate to England with Freddie at the age of 17. They found themselves residing in a tiny abode situated in the county of Middlesex. Although the parents struggled with adapting to their new surroundings, Freddie had already arrived in a place where he would go on to achieve great success.

Bitter Past

During the limited interviews he conducted, Freddie Mercury demonstrated hesitation to discuss his upbringing and adolescence in Zanzibar. His responses regarding the topic were unclear and implied his lack of fondness for his place of origin.

Freddie considered it crucial to keep his personal life distinct from his professional pursuits. However, some presume this detachment stemmed from his inability to express his authentic self in the rigid societal and religious norms prevalent in Zanzibar.

A Museum

However, although there were initial obstacles, Freddie Mercury has become a cherished icon in his country of origin. In fact, the world’s first museum dedicated to celebrating the life of one of rock history’s most legendary stars was opened in Zanzibar in November of 2019.

The Freddie Mercury Museum, which is situated in Stone Town and concentrates on the musician’s early life, has temporarily halted its operations due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, the museum plans to re-open its doors soon and resume providing guided tours.

Parallel Sportsman

When Freddie was a young student attending school, he found pleasure in participating in various sports and had distinguished abilities in them such as table tennis, field hockey, and boxing. He mentioned how he was particularly excellent at boxing.

However, he did not have a liking for certain traditional English sports like football or cricket. It is possible that if Mercury’s pursuit of music didn’t work out, he could have been a notable boxer who also had a unique singing voice.

The Origin of Queen

Freddie Mercury started his Graphic Design studies at Ealing College of Arts after arriving in England. During this period, he also played with Wreckage, a blues band, in his free time.

After a brief time, he came across Roger Taylor and Brian May. They had a band called Smile. Mercury decided to become their lead singer and soon after, Smile altered their name to Queen.

Rising From the Ashes

It is a known fact that the iconic logo of the band was designed by none other than Freddie Mercury himself. His idea behind the logo was to combine the symbol of each member’s zodiac sign into a single image.

Nonetheless, there exists a unique symbol that is not a member of the zodiac creatures, which is the phoenix. This legendary creature holds several meanings, the most famous of which is its ability to regenerate itself from the ashes, symbolizing the vitality of the group.

A Fortunate Incident

One intriguing aspect of Queen’s performances was observing Freddie Mercury roam the stage with a standalone microphone, as he detached the base to enhance his freedom of movement and hand gestures.

Legend has it that the reason behind the microphone’s unique design can be traced back to a particular event. As the story goes, Mercury faced difficulty with his stand microphone during a college dance, which caused the base to break. As a result, he started using it in its broken form and eventually made it his recognizable symbol.

Pianist of Atypical Places

Freddie Mercury, despite being a musical genius, experienced self-doubt relating to his talent when he was not self-assured enough. This feeling arose specifically when he faced a piano, as he did not see himself as an accomplished piano player.

Nonetheless, he created his music utilizing that particular tool. He possessed a piano in close proximity to his sleeping area to craft the music that flowed through his mind during slumber. According to rumor, he even fashioned the song Crazy Little Thing Called Love while situated in the bathroom, with a piano precariously perched over the bathtub.

Mercury vs. Bowie

David Bowie received assistance from Freddie Mercury when he was scheduled to perform at a university concert but lacked the required equipment to begin his show. Eventually, the two musicians teamed up and produced the song “Under Pressure.”

As anticipated, the experience was not entirely positive. As a result of the strong egos of the artists, clashes occurred during the recording process. Nonetheless, it is fortunate that Bowie eventually developed a sincere respect for Freddie Mercury.

Always Inspired

Besides his vocal abilities, Freddie’s talent also extended to composing songs for Queen, a task he primarily shared with Brian May. However, he was always willing to consider suggestions and input from the other members of the band.

Mercury was always open to inspiration and wanted to make the most of any opportunity that came his way. As a result, his assistants made sure to have writing tools with them whenever they were with him. For instance, he wrote the song Life Is Real, which was a tribute to John Lennon, while on a plane.

Dental Defect

Freddie Mercury was known for having large, jutting teeth which were caused by the presence of four additional teeth pushing his regular teeth out of place. He struggled to overcome his discomfort concerning his unusual dental condition, often covering his mouth with his hand to conceal his teeth.

He was well-known for his fear of going to the dentist. She chose not to straighten her teeth out of concern for damaging her beautiful voice or losing her vocal range.

Mercury vs. Vicious

A highly intense feud in the rock music industry had its origins in a recording studio where Freddie Mercury and Sid Vicious, the bassist of Sex Pistols, had an argument. Vicious made a treacherous remark, “Have you succeeded in popularizing ballet?” which instigated the conflict between the two.

The remark hinted at Mercury’s past use of ballet slippers, but also ridiculed his feminine behaviors. This greatly angered Mercury, causing him to seize the individual by their shoulders and forcefully remove them from the studio.

The Infiltrator

The story is recounted by Cleo Rocos, who is an actress. In 1988, she claims to have succeeded in bringing Princess Diana to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern – a gay bar – where they watched The Golden Girls in the company of Freddie Mercury and comedian Kenny Everett.

Lady Di managed to go unnoticed at the venue with only a leather jacket and a hat. Considering Princess Diana’s character, this narrative is not entirely implausible and can be seen as quite credible.

A Mystery for Science

Since Freddie Mercury passed away, his magnificent singing capability has intrigued many researchers. They often remark that Mercury possessed a distinct tone of voice and could sing across four octaves.

According to recent research, there is no concrete evidence to confirm that the rock star possessed an extensive vocal range. However, it is known that he had the vocal abilities of a baritone with some tenor-like qualities and a vibrato that was even more potent than that of several opera singers.

Multitude of Women

There has been ongoing debate about Freddie Mercury’s sexual orientation. Although he is often viewed as a symbol for the LGBTQ+ community, it’s possible that he also had a level of interest in both genders. Evidence shows that he was involved with several women in his personal life.

While he was residing in Munich, he shared a living space with Barbara Valentin, who worked in the adult film industry. Conversely, in 1969 he had plans to tie the knot with Mary Austin, who was perhaps the most significant woman in his life. Although their marriage never took place, they remained close friends until the end.

A Constant Performer

On top of his interest in music and dance, Freddie also took pleasure in various other forms of art, such as painting. His home was abundantly adorned with artworks, including a Picasso piece hanging in the bathroom. He frequently attended auctions to obtain unique pieces and expanded his collection. His admiration extended especially to Japanese antiques.

The artist’s work that he encountered had a profound effect on his music. One instance of this is the composition of the song The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke, from the album Queen II, which was inspired by viewing a painting at the Tate Gallery in London.

Posthumous Gift

Freddie Mercury had a custom of using feminine nicknames for his dear friends, which were similar to those used by drag queens. As an instance, he referred to his close friend Elton John as Shanon.

Elton John received a Christmas present that included a pillow originally owned by Freddie Mercury along with a note from Melina that read, “Dear Sharon, I thought you might like to have it. Love, Melina. Merry Christmas.”

Unpleasant Pets

Freddie Mercury had several collaborations during his career, but his songs with the highly renowned pop icon, Michael Jackson, are remarkable. Notably, the two songs he worked on with Michael Jackson, titled “There Must Be More To Life Than This” and “State Of Shock,” are particularly noteworthy.

The two individuals had a great rapport with each other, but it is surprising there weren’t more joint projects. Certain reports suggest that there was a dispute due to Freddie’s dependencies, while others point fingers at Michael’s bothersome animals that vexed Mercury while on set.

Nose, Teeth and Hair

It’s unbelievable to imagine, but during one night in the 1980s, there was almost a rock band formed by Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Freddie Mercury. The band was going to be named Nose, Teeth & Hair, referring to the distinct features of each musician.

Nevertheless, as soon as the night’s high faded away at dawn, everything ceased. The musicians ultimately concluded that they were unable to perform together.

Eternal Love

Freddie Mercury’s stylist Jim Hutton was his significant other in his final days. Their love was so strong that they chose to wear wedding rings, despite the fact that same-sex marriage was not yet legal and seemed like a far-off concept.

When Mercury admitted to Hutton that he had HIV, he gave him the option to leave. However, Hutton’s response was heartfelt, as he declared his love for Mercury and promised to stand by him. Unfortunately, Hutton also contracted HIV and eventually died of lung cancer in 2010. The book “Mercury and Me” explores their relationship.

Up in Arms

Freddie Mercury was famous for not allowing anyone to overpower him, whether it be through ethics or force. Francis Rossi, the head of the band Status Quo, was aware of this inclination of Mercury’s. This was seen during a disagreement they had at the Live Aid concert in 1985.

Rossi reportedly cracked some jokes about Mercury’s sexual preferences, which led to Mercury tackling and holding him in a headlock. However, it seems that they didn’t hold any grudges against each other as both bands performed together a few years later.

Love for Cats

Initially, Freddie Mercury had an interest in collecting stamps, however, his affection for music took over. Along with his musical inclination, he had a sustained fondness for cats which continued throughout his life. He was responsible for taking care of numerous cats throughout his successful artistic journey.

One indication of a deep love for cats is shown in the commitment to the solo album Mr. Bad Guy, which is devoted to the feline named Jerry along with others like Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany. It is also dedicated to all those who have an affection for cats across the world. The message to those who do not share this love is one of disregard.

The Life of the Party

Freddie Mercury’s unusual behavior occasionally reached unforeseen levels. This is evident in the manner in which he arranged his parties and festivities. One instance would be on his 39th birthday, where he required those who were present to dress in black and white, while he opted to wear vibrant colors.

One more instance is the amazing party he arranged to mark the launch of the music group’s fourth album, Jazz. It is rumored that during the event, the servers moved around without clothes and distributed illegal drugs to the attendees.

Deep Sleep

Freddie’s life was characterized by periods of indulgence and high-speed activity. Continual touring and partying can have a tiring effect on anyone; however, the vocalist maintained that getting only a few hours of sleep was sufficient for him.

In the past, he would often unwind by doing this activity, allowing him to wake up feeling refreshed after only two or three hours of sleep. However, it is evident that this amount of sleep is not beneficial for one’s overall health. It is worth noting that the lifestyles of accomplished musicians may have some unique attributes.


Freddie Mercury, being an exceptional artist, fully embraced the culture of his time and incorporated its elements effectively. A particularly unforgettable moment was when Mercury appeared on stage being carried by a person disguised as Darth Vader during one of his concerts.

The origin of the vibrant fusion came from a small portion of Bicycle Race’s lyrics that expressed a dislike for Star Wars. However, the homage to various facets of American culture persisted in their performances, including references to Superman and Santa Claus.

A Day to Celebrate

Annually on September 5th, the people of Montreux, Switzerland commemorate Freddie Mercury Day. The statue of Mercury in the town is regarded by enthusiasts of Queen and their music as a sacred site for worship and pilgrimage.

What is the reason for choosing this city? Essentially, it’s because Mercury resided there before passing away and because the first Queen recording studio was situated there. In addition, Montreux was the location for the production of many of the band’s most famous albums.

Taste for Ballet

We previously mentioned that Freddie Mercury wore ballet slippers, but it is important to note that he also had a passion for ballet. He even performed publicly in this style of dance, leaving a memorable moment in history.

In 1977, Wayne Eagling, who was a leading performer with the Royal Ballet, planned a charity ball. During the event, Mercury gave a sensational performance on stage, showcasing a unique choreography that was designed solely for him by Eagling.

Olympic Mercury

During the 1980s, Freddie Mercury admitted in a Spanish television interview that he greatly admired the Catalan soprano Monserrat Caballé.

Fortunately, music enthusiasts had the pleasure of witnessing the remarkable partnership between Mercury and Caballé. Their collaboration produced the famous song “Barcelona,” which became an anthem of its era and was later chosen as the official theme song for the 1992 Olympics.

The Circuit Does Not Include Broadway

Freddie’s career had vast potential and opportunities for collaborations due to his exceptional voice. He even had the chance to perform in the Broadway musical La Bohème with renowned singer Linda Rondstand.

However, Mercury declined the offer and mentioned that while he did like attending performances such as theater, ballet and opera, committing to a full season of them would not interest him and would drain his energy. He expressed that the lively and energetic lifestyle of rock and roll suited him better.

Mercury and Maradona

Queen embarked on a Latin American tour in 1981, a region that was not commonly explored by European rock bands. Freddie Mercury and the rest of the band were enthusiastic about introducing their music to unknown territories, uncertain of how it would be perceived.

The tour was a resounding success. In Argentina, soccer star Diego Armando Maradona attended the concert and personally thanked Mercury for his music. Maradona and Mercury exchanged jerseys and spent some time laughing.

Leaving it All On the Stage

Freddie’s eccentric personality, which made him one of the most admired artists in history, led him to generate extreme situations. The singer tried to channel emotional conflicts through a higher level of adrenaline in his shows.

So it is that, in the run-up to a 1982 performance in London, he argued with Bill Reid, partner at the time, and the latter bit his hand until he made it bleed. It is believed to have been one of the best concerts in Queen’s life.

The Final Single

Significantly named “The Show Must Go On”, Queen’s final single would see the light of day just a few weeks before Freddie Mercury’s death in late 1991. By the time of the recording Mercury was already seriously ill and it was uncertain whether he would be able to sing.

In order to give himself the necessary strength, Mercury ingested a mixture of vodka and other alcoholic beverages and recorded the final version in one take. Snippets of old live video clips were used as a video accompaniment.

Permanent Conflicts

Despite having been together for so many years, the truth is that infighting and arguments were constant in Queen. To a certain extent it is normal for artists of such caliber to have differences when it comes to agreeing on certain issues.

It is known the incident in which Freddie Mercury had to mediate between Brian May and Roger Taylor so that these did not come to blows. Mercury himself once stated that this tense atmosphere was key to the band’s success.


An addition that caused even more concern about the future of Queen was Freddie Mercury’s solo venture. The singer spent two years in Munich, Germany, composing his first solo album, which would be titled Mr. Bad Boy.

It was rumored that the new album would compete in sales with “The Works”, the album that Queen released around the same time. However, from this solo experience only “Living On My Own” is considered a hit song.

Unique Style

Freddie Mercury’s style was transgressive and unparalleled. He renewed the rock scene and added a theatricality that, until then, the genre lacked. On the other hand, his flamboyance and irreverence earned him artistic immortality.

Feathers, sequins and low-cut T-shirts were part of Mercury’s usual look, in addition to the multiple costumes he came to wear at concerts. An atypical outfit for a rock star, but one that helped him stand out and leave his mark on the history of music.

Success and Censorship

Freddie’s work, like that of many transgressive artists, also suffered moments of censorship. As he became an icon of the gay community, much more marginalized at the time, the authorities began to pay attention to his messages.

Among the details of his work that suffered censorship is the video of one of his most successful songs: “I Want to Break Free”, where a parody of the British soap opera Coronation Street is made. On the MTV channel in the United States, the video was broadcast only in 1991.

A Historic Concert

Held in 1985, the event called “Live Aid” consisted of two simultaneous concerts, one in London and one in the United States, organized in order to raise funds to fight famine in some African countries. Artists such as U2, Elton John and Led Zeppelin were part of the party.

Nevertheless, it is a unanimous truth that Queen hogged all the limelight. Freddie Mercury’s performance was absolutely legendary and inspiring, and today it is considered the greatest Queen performance of all time.

Record Number of Spectators

Another historic concert took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that same year. The mythical Maracana stadium, home of some of the most remembered sporting events in history, was the stage chosen by Queen to bring their music to the country of samba.

It is estimated that approximately 250,000 spectators attended the concert that day to see Freddie Mercury’s magic up close. The band always claimed that it was the first time in the history of music that a group gathered such an audience.

The Oldest Fans

The band Queen has a particular record, which is even in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is the longest-running fan club in history. It was created in the mid-1970s, to provide and disseminate information about the band.

With more than 40 years of existence, it remains active until today and its manager, Jacky Smith, is a reference for all Queen fans. But also for whoever intends to manage a club in honor of their idols.

A Group of Records

The band led by Freddie is the protagonist of a cataract of historical records for music. Many of which, even today, are hard to beat. One of them has nothing to do with the number of people in a show or records sold, but with the composition.

Queen is the only rock band in which every member composed a song that topped the charts.

The Last Concert

Queen closed the Magic Tour on August 9, 1986 with a concert at Knebworth Park. By that time no one could have suspected that it would be the last time the great rock star, Freddie Mercury, would sing in front of a crowd.

A total of 125,000 people had the privilege of enjoying Mercury’s last live show. The image of the members of Queen arriving by helicopter directly to the stage to show off the best of their repertoire is still remembered.

Some Problems

As with many artists, one of Freddie Mercury’s most controversial facets was his addictions to drink, psychoactive substances and so on…. In fact, it was very common to see him getting drunk at his many parties.

Of course, the consumption of narcotics brought more than one problem to the singer, such as the breakup of relationships with friends and close ones. Mercury’s libertine life had several excesses that would end up taking its toll not only on his personal life but also on his health.

Rumors About His Health

Rumors about Freddie Mercury’s health condition started in the year 1987, one year after his live show. His absence from the stage and some comments from his boyfriend, Jim Hutton, suggested that the singer could be ill with AIDS.

Being a disease that spread rapidly in those years, and about which there were important prejudices, Mercury preferred to deny in an interview that he suffered from it. In the end, however, he ended up admitting he had AIDS the day before he died.

Musical Refuge

It is likely that Mercury could have done more to treat his illness. Of course, knowledge about AIDS was not the same at the time. However, during his deterioration he only took common painkillers and was denied other medication.

Freddie’s real therapy was music. Guitarist Brian May recounted that he was obsessed with songwriting. He didn’t fear the disease, but he did constantly ask him to write songs so he could sing.

A Sad End

Freddy Mercury died in his mansion, in London, on November 24, 1991, at the age of 45. The cause of death was bronchopneumonia resulting from complications with AIDS. His family, close friends and some artists were present at the funeral ceremony.

One of the mysteries that still remains around Mercury’s death is the place where his ashes rest. On the other hand, the substantial fortune he amassed during his lifetime was divided between his friend Mary Austin and next of kin.

The Show Must Go On

Freddie Mercury’s last song was “The Show Must Go On”, and the truth is that Queen continued their activity without him. In 1995 “Made in Heaven” was released, the band’s fifteenth album, featuring the songs Mercury recorded during his final years.

After Mercury’s death and John Deacon’s retirement in 1997, Roger Taylor and Brian May decided to continue working and keep the Queen name. Currently they still play, but without Mercury’s magic things are not the same.

Two Legacies

There are two important legacies that a star like Freddie Mercury has left to the world. The first is undoubtedly his music, his uninhibited style and his prodigious voice. All this has served as inspiration for millions of people around the world.

The second has to do with activism on behalf of AIDS patients. It may not be understood today, but at the time it was almost impossible for a celebrity to admit to having the disease. Mercury’s confession served to make visible a problem that still continues.

Voices From Beyond

In 2014, when more than 20 years had passed without Freddie, Brian May and Roger Taylor decided to release an unreleased song that featured his vocals. The track was unfinished, but it held a vocal record of the singer, which they decided to present to the world through an AIDS awareness campaign.

So it was that “Let Me In Your Heart Again” was released, a new Mercury song, released decades after his physical demise and reconnecting his majestic voice with fans’ nostalgia.

It Went All the Way to Grunge

The number of musicians and artists who found inspiration in Mercury’s voice and work are beyond counting. In the decades following his existence, dozens of rock subgenres emerged. Among the most important, American grunge.

His top man, Kurt Cobain, revealed that he had great admiration for Freddie. Especially for his ability to relate to the public and feel loved. Something he could not achieve, as he told in his farewell letter.

The Show Does Go On

It is impossible to know how Freddie’s relationship with new technologies would be. Especially with social networks. But we do know that his music has adapted very well and does not lose its relevance. On the contrary: in 2019, the video of “Bohemian Rhapsody” became the first music hit before 1990 to reach one billion views on YouTube.

The song, which is nearing its half-century anniversary, continues to break records no matter what platform it’s on.

Conquering Even Space

In 2016, the year the singer would have turned 70, a very special, and quite unique, gift was made. An asteroid, located in the belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter, was named “17473 Freddiemercury”, in honor of the great influence his figure had on the world.

It was announced by guitarist Brian May, who is also an astrophysicist, through a video. Another record for Freddie: the first artist to conquer outer space.

New Tours

Since 2005 Taylor and May have done several tours that seek to revitalize the Queen name. For this they have used the pre-recorded voice of Freddie Mercury. They have also made collaborations with different singers, such as Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert.

They are currently on a tour called “The Rhapsody Tour”, which seeks to capitalize on the success of the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic. The pandemic-hit tour is scheduled to end in 2022.

The Movie

If there was one thing Freddie Mercury fans were waiting for, it was a movie that would honor the life and work of the man who was considered by many to be the greatest singer of the 20th century. This dream came true in 2018, with the release of Bohemian Rhapsody.

The film received rave reviews, and even won the prestigious Golden Globe in the Best Motion Picture Drama category. Particularly celebrated was the performance of Rami Malek, who played Mercury, and received an Oscar for his excellent role.

Walter Mercado fue un personaje privado y misterioso, poco se sabía de su vida más allá de lo que él quería mostrar y lo que veíamos siempre en cámara. Sin embargo, hay muchos detalles que con los años salieron a la luz y que su documental expuso al público. Si buscas conocer más a fondo su historia, entenderás mejor la influencia y legado del ícono más grande de la astrología en Latinoamérica.

El niño del Caribe

Nacido en Puerto Rico, en medio de las aguas del Caribe, el mundo le dio la bienvenida al que sería el futuro astrólogo más influyente del medio artístico, Walter Mercado.

Un 9 de marzo de 1932 nació en Ponce, capital del sur, este importante personaje de la cultura latinoamericana y del mundo. Walter Mercado Salinas comenzaba su historia en una pequeña finca de caña de azúcar en un pueblo de Centroamérica junto a sus padres. Una locación que influyó en su desarrollo profesional y personal.

Un alma distinta

Este niño de madre española y padre puertorriqueño, mostró sus gustos por el mundo astral desde muy temprana edad.

Walter Mercado reconoció en diferentes entrevistas que siempre se sintió distinto a los demás niños. Contaba que posaba su atención en las estrellas y los planetas, además, tenía una fuerte atracción por las artes. Gustos que más adelante lo llevarían a triunfar en el mundo artístico, ya que al principio de su carrera se dedicó a la danza y la actuación.

Los indicios de su don

Al sentirse diferente, Walter Mercado comenzó a aprovechar esa sensación desde pequeño, nunca la ocultó. A los 6 años tuvo lo que sería uno de sus primeros encuentros con su don más reconocido: predecir el futuro.

Mercado visualizó en un sueño la caída de la campana en su escuela, hecho que más adelante sucedió. También es muy conocida la historia en la que devolvió un pajarito a la vida, acción que le atribuyó el nombre “Walter Milagros” en su comunidad.

Estudios y formación

Antes de comenzar su carrera en el mundo artístico y astrológico, Walter Mercado, intrigado por su especial don, decidió ir un poco más allá para entenderlo mejor.

El astrólogo asistió a la Universidad de Puerto Rico donde se especializó en pedagogía, psicología y farmacia. Saciando así su deseo de comprender la mente humana y la suya, además, se instruyó en las propiedades de las plantas medicinales y como estas podían ayudar a la cura de enfermedades y otros padecimientos.

Primeros pasos en el arte

Durante su juventud, Walter Mercado decidió indagar en distintas áreas del arte, buscando un camino hacia lo que vendría más adelante en su vida.

El puertorriqueño comenzó así su carrera como actor, llegando a participar en distintas películas, obras teatrales y novelas como “Un adiós en el recuerdo” y “Larga distancia”. Además, se encargó de brillar en el mundo de la danza, y compartió escenario con la reconocida bailarina Velda González. Más adelante fundó la escuela de artes dramáticas Walter Actors Studio 64.

El debut que le cambió la vida

En 1969 llegó a la vida de Walter una oportunidad imprevista que cambiaría para siempre su historia y su carrera.

Mercado se encontraba en un canal televisivo en Puerto Rico para promocionar su obra de teatro, cuando fue llamado para llenar un vacío que dejó Camilo Sesto al no asistir a una entrevista programada. El conductor le pidió leer las manos del público presente y hablar sobre los signos zodiacales. Después de este episodio, fue contactado de nuevo, la gente pedía su presencia.

Comienza la leyenda

Luego de que su regreso al programa fuese exigido por el público, para comienzos de 1970 Walter ya contaba con un segmento astrológico. Este era transmitido por “El Show de las 12” en Telemundo Puerto Rico.

Los televidentes estaban impresionados por la particularidad de Mercado. Sus vestimentas teatrales y llamativas capturaron la atención del país. Además, el uso de sus dones complementaba su puesta en escena, haciéndose notar más allá de las fronteras de Puerto Rico.

Fama en diferentes escalas

La fama de Walter Mercado se dio a conocer alrededor del mundo. Este excéntrico personaje que había creado era ya visto como una marca que quería ser adquirida por muchos.

No fue sino hasta 1990 que el puertorriqueño aceptó comenzar a transmitir su programa por Univisión Miami. El segmento se podía ver en inglés, español y portugués, logrando así la expansión de sus seguidores y haciendo más esperada su usual lectura del tarot. Este programa se mantuvo hasta que abruptamente fue terminado en 2006.

Su exposición en los medios

Mientras más fama adquiría a nivel mundial, más preguntas surgían sobre quién era este personaje que se robaba las pantallas de los hogares en América.

Su imagen de género indefinido comenzó a dar de qué hablar en los medios de entretenimiento. Muchos rumores surgieron rodeando su sexualidad, sin embargo, él mismo se encargó de hacer revelaciones sobre su vida amorosa. Muchas de estas no encajaban con la realidad, como su supuesto matrimonio con la dominicana Bárbara Tapia y su relación de compromiso con la brasileña Mariette Detotto.

La “conejita” Mariette Detotto

No podemos dejar pasar la oportunidad de hablar un poco más de la mujer más importante en la vida de Walter. La ex conejita de Playboy Mariette Detotto.

A pesar de las informaciones inciertas sobre sus relaciones, esta ex modelo siempre resaltó en la historia de Mercado. Fuentes cercanas aseguraban que era su alma gemela y tenían una relación espiritual muy unida. Sin embargo, nunca se conocieron más detalles ya que siempre los mantuvieron privados.

Los vestuarios

Su influencia proveniente de las artes escénicas predominó en sus vestimentas exageradas y vistosas. Una fuerte característica del personaje que era Walter Mercado, pues cada conjunto utilizado formó su marca personal.

El astrólogo contaba con más de 2 mil capas que complementaban su look teatral en cada programa. Todas se componían con piedras preciosas, bordados únicos y plumas estratégicamente aplicadas. Muchas de estas prendas fueron exhibidas en el Museo de Historia en Miami, en honor a sus 50 años de carrera.

Las extravagantes joyas

La ropa y las capas no eran lo único que caracterizaban la imagen de Walter. Los accesorios eran una parte clave de su proyección en los medios.

Grandes anillos de piedras preciosas adornaban sus dedos, collares recargados y con significados religiosos colgaban de su cuello y pulseras, que pocas veces se dejaban ver entre tanta tela, también le daban un toque extravagante al look. Esto dio paso a que marcas de renombre comenzaran a proporcionarle estas joyas para que pudiera lucirlas en sus programas y fuera de ellos.

El baile y la astrología

Los comienzos de Walter en el mundo del entretenimiento le ayudaron mucho a formar ese personaje que les mostraba a millones de personas en su programa.

El baile fue uno de los principales representantes de esa imagen. El movimiento con las manos tan característico del astrólogo lo heredó de sus conocimientos en la danza española, al igual que muchos de sus pasos al presentar los signos. El arte resaltaba en cada espacio que Walter habitaba.

El cuidado con los detalles

Walter era una persona perfeccionista y esto es algo que nunca ocultó de su personaje. Cada paso estaba pensado y su imagen estaba cuidadosamente lograda.

Esta característica de su personalidad fue también la que lo empujó al estrellato. La perfección que aplicaba en su carrera lo hacía trabajar de forma responsable. Si hay algo que resaltan las personas que colaboraron con él es su compromiso y atención a los detalles. Esto es algo que mantuvo hasta los últimos años de su vida.

La excentricidad de su personaje

Si bien los vestuarios eran lo suficientemente llamativos, el personaje que los vestía era el encargado de darle una vida única a cada atuendo. Para esto creó una imagen que lo inmortalizó.

Un movimiento de manos delicado y estratégico hizo que Walter Mercado acaparara la atención del mundo. En conjunto con las capas y sus movimientos que parecían ensayados, el astrólogo dejaba su marca en cada programa. Además, con un discurso de optimismo que lo caracterizaba despedía siempre su segmento “con mucho, mucho, amor”.

La estética y la belleza

Estar expuesto al público de manera masiva pone una gran presión en la imagen personal. Esto era algo que el puertorriqueño se tomó muy en serio durante su carrera.

Cuando se le preguntaba a Walter sobre su edad siempre respondía “entre los 50 años y la muerte”. El envejecer era un tema delicado para él, y aseguraba que el secreto de la juventud “está en el corazón” por eso “se debe evitar guardar rencores y odio”. Meses antes de su muerte se llamó a sí mismo Dorian Gray, pues dijo que sus fotos envejecían, pero él no.

El éxito fruto de un don y una misión

Si bien Walter era un personaje llamativo a la vista, no fue solo esa característica la que lo llevó a la fama. Este joven de Ponce tenía un don que compartió con el mundo.

El talento del astrólogo iba más allá de solo leer las cartas y conocer de signos zodiacales. Sus palabras de aliento para cada persona caracterizaron su mensaje de esperanza, él le daba a la gente eso que necesitaban escuchar. No había promesas vacías, solo datos inspirados provenientes de sus dones espirituales.

Predicciones más famosas

Más allá de sus lecturas zodiacales, el puertorriqueño también aprovechó su exposición para realizar predicciones de eventos mundiales. Esto lo ayudó a adquirir una mayor credibilidad en el campo de la astrología.

Algunos de los eventos que predijo fueron la muerte de la Madre Teresa de Calcuta, Madonna como la protagonista de la película Evita, el ascenso de Bill Clinton a presidente y el nacimiento del hijo menor de Julio Iglesias. El uso de sus dones se expandía cada vez más con los años.

Importantes figuras acudieron a Walter

Sus predicciones acertadas y su fama en constante ascenso dieron pie para que el astrólogo extendiera sus servicios a otro tipo de consulta.

Mercado comenzó a realizar sesiones privadas de consultoría astral a importantes figuras del mundo de la política y el entretenimiento. Sus dones habían alcanzado un nivel de credibilidad tan alto que fueron requeridos para candidatos a la presidencia. Walter se hizo así una figura respetada hasta por los más escépticos.

Combinación de creencias

Por supuesto que este gran astrólogo no construyó todo su imperio basado en la fe de sus dones. Mercado era un devoto al estudio de la espiritualidad y astrología, así respaldaba sus habilidades.

El puertorriqueño unió sus poderes con disciplinas orientales y una variedad de diversas religiones. Walter tomaba los mejores aspectos de cada religión, los estudiaba y los hacía parte de su crecimiento profesional en la astrología. Su gran esfuerzo por nutrirse teóricamente lo hacía excelente en la práctica.

La influencia en la cultura

Walter Mercado no solo marcó un precedente por su don de la adivinación, su carisma o sus vestuarios llamativos. Su influencia en la sociedad fue más allá de su astrología.

El puertorriqueño supo sobreponerse a una sociedad machista y homofóbica. Expuso su forma de ser y sus gustos sin importarle las críticas, esto fue un respiro para aquellos televidentes que se sentían diferentes. Para las personas discriminadas, Walter representaba un lugar de entendimiento e identificación, un consuelo en una sociedad estricta y cerrada.

Las imitaciones

La influencia y el alcance a tantos lugares del mundo dio a paso para que otros se inspiraran del trabajo de Walter.

Eugenio Derbez fue uno de los más resaltantes en sus imitaciones a Walter, y aunque muchas eran de burla, otras también fueron por parte de astrólogos. Estos pensaban que si emulaban el estilo del puertorriqueño podrían alcanzar su nivel de fama. Al final Mercado catalogó los intentos como “halagadores”, y poca importancia les daba a aquellas imitaciones negativas.

Timothée Chambelan como Walter

Siguiendo en el hilo de las imitaciones, Walter Mercado expresó que si había alguien que quisiera verlo encarnando su personaje era a Timothée Chambelan.

Una elección que dejó a muchos sorprendidos, pero el astrólogo aseguraba que el joven actor sería la personificación perfecta de su imagen. Aunque los planes de una película sobre la vida de Walter no han sido públicos, se dice que es una producción que se espera en los próximos años.

La llegada de un ángel

Los artistas por lo general no están familiarizados con las negociaciones de contratos, pues están concentrados en hacer arte. Bill Bakula fue el elegido para ayudar a Walter con estos movimientos detrás de escena.

Mercado lo catalogó como un ángel que llegó a su vida para ayudarlo a maximizar su fama. Al comenzar a ser su manager, Bakula expandió la imagen y el alcance del puertorriqueño. Este le proporcionaba una vida de estrella mientras se hacía cargo de todas las finanzas de Walter. Acción que el astrólogo le agradeció siempre.

Una relación engañosa

Bill Bakula se hizo cercano a Walter, al punto en que se creó una relación casi de familia. El astrólogo confiaba plenamente en el que aquel entonces era su manager y amigo.

Sin embargo, a pesar de todas las puertas que Bakula le abrió a Mercado, esta asociación decayó con los años. Un contrato engañoso firmado por el puertorriqueño comenzaría una batalla legal de años, el cual convirtió al ex manager de su ángel a su infierno.

Pelea legal

Bill Baluka había logrado que Walter firmara un contrato en el cual le cedía todos los derechos de su imagen. Desde su nombre hasta cualquier tipo de aparición pública en la cual recibiera dinero.

El astrólogo se vio despojado de su propia identidad, engañado por quien por años había sido su manager y a quien consideraba más que un amigo. Walter Mercado llevó a Bakula a juicio, y por ende tuvo que cesar todo tipo de aparición pública. Sus programas e invitaciones especiales se vieron momentáneamente fuera del aire.

Cambio de nombre

Al verse obligado a renunciar a su nombre mientras la batalla legal continuaba, Walter siempre creativo, decidió hacerle un cambio temporal a su marca pública.

El puertorriqueño cambió su nombre a Santi Ananda (que significa “Paz y Felicidad”). Intentó usarlo para continuar su carrera, haciendo consultas astrológicas online y escribiendo nuevos libros. Sin embargo, nada de esto fue suficiente, el alcance no fue el mismo y poco a poco Walter Mercado se fue alejando de los medios.

Triunfo en la corte

La lucha por la recuperación de su identidad no se detuvo. Walter dio una dura batalla en la corte para poder recuperar su nombre. Este era una representación de lo que sus años de trabajo y esfuerzo habían cosechado.

Seis años después la larga espera llegó a su fin. Aunque la resolución no fue 100% favorable para el astrólogo, por lo menos le permitieron conservar su nombre. Walter Mercado podía volver a ser una figura pública, sin embargo, ya el tiempo trascurrido le había afectado física y emocionalmente.


Durante los seis años de batalla legal Walter había terminado abruptamente todos sus programas. Lo cual a su vez fue una desconexión total con su público.

Durante los años en la corte, fueron muy pocas veces las apariciones del puertorriqueño, por no decir que fueron casi nulas. El mundo se preguntaba dónde estaba aquel teatral personaje que paralizaba a América y al mundo cuando aparecía en las pantallas. Nadie tenía una respuesta clara, lo que ayudó a Mercado a alejarse por completo del foco público.

El esperado documental de Netflix

Después de años alejados de su público, Walter Mercado accede a las grabaciones de un documental sobre su vida. La gran compañía de streaming Netflix sería la encargada de llevar a cabo este increíble proyecto.

El documental captura la vida privada e intimidad del astrólogo. Las cámaras lo siguieron por los últimos dos años de su vida. De hecho, el director del proyecto asegura que la última grabación se hizo un día antes de la muerte de la estrella.

Un regreso inesperado

El 8 de julio del 2020 sucedió lo que más de los 135 millones de seguidores de Walter estaban esperando: el regreso a las pantallas de esta figura icónica de la televisión.

Aunque no fue aquel formato de show que hizo famoso al puertorriqueño, el documental de Netflix, “Mucho, mucho amor: La leyenda de Walter Mercado”, salió al aire con una recepción abrumadora. La oportunidad de entrar en la vida de este personaje le dio un cierre a sus fanáticos a nivel mundial y aclaró las razones de su desaparición.

Aclaraciones de su vida

El documental de Netflix no solo sirvió para traer de vuelta la imagen de Walter Mercado, sino también para limpiarla.

Esta fue la oportunidad para explicar de manera más detallada los procesos legales por los que pasó el astrólogo. Su condición de salud para aquel momento y sus más cercanos amigos fueron otros de los temas a tratar dentro del documental. Un acercamiento que nos hizo ver el lado más humano de esta excéntrica figura.

Bill Bakula cuenta su historia

Uno de los personajes más comentados del documental fue su ex manager Bill Bakula. Este personaje hizo presencia en algunos segmentos.

Como era de esperarse, Bakula con su temple frío, aseguró no tener nada de qué arrepentirse o disculparse, que él solo siguió lo que estaba estipulado en un contrato firmado. “El arrepentimiento no está en mi diccionario”, fue la frase que rigió su aparición y como será recordado por los fanáticos de Walter.

Su familia

Su familia fue un tema poco conocido por los medios. Walter se encargaba de mantener muchos aspectos de su vida privada fuera de los titulares de la prensa rosa.

Sin embargo, esta no solo se componía de sus relativos, también de amigos que con los años se hicieron hermanos. Willie Acosta, su asistente personal, fue uno de los más cercanos. Él se encargó de acompañarlo y atenderlo por muchos años hasta su muerte. Parte de su grupo íntimo estaban también sus cuatro sobrinas que estaban siempre a su lado.

Walter Mercado 2.0

A pesar de que el astrólogo desapareció por tanto tiempo, las personas lo seguirán guardando en sus corazones.

Son muchos los restaurantes y bares del continente americano donde encontrarás la imagen de Walter adornando las paredes. También las generaciones más jóvenes portan franelas con sus más conocidas frases o con su famosa pose de manos; incluso, los memes de internet siempre lo mantienen presente. Esta es una muestra más del inmenso impacto que tuvo en la cultura pop.

El reconocimiento por su carrera

Para celebrar los 50 años de su influyente y larga carrera Walter Mercado fue invitado al Museo de Historia en Miami donde tendría un encuentro con sus seguidores.

Una gran exposición con sus capas y vestuarios más famosos llenaba el museo en conjunto con sus joyas. Un busto de él se regía en el centro de la sala abarrotada por los fans que no perdieron la oportunidad de ver al astrólogo. Este evento fue una despedida necesaria que tanto Walter como sus seguidores necesitaban y quedó como el último recuerdo que tendrían juntos.

Sus fans

Los seguidores de Walter siempre fueron algo muy especial para él. Muchas veces los catalogó como lo más importante de su carrera y lo que le motivaba y llenaba de vida.

Dentro de su grupo de fans resaltaban muchos nombres de grandes artistas. Uno de ellos fue Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor de Hamilton, quien cumplió su sueño de conocerlo en Miami. Ambos compartieron un momento especial que quedó inmortalizado en el documental “La leyenda de Walter Mercado”.

La reencarnación

El tema de la muerte era algo que Walter no disfrutaba hablar, sus sobrinas aseguran que una vez empezaba el tema no quería continuarlo por mucho tiempo.

Sin embargo, Walter creía en la reencarnación, él estaba seguro de que después de abandonar el cuerpo se volvía a renacer en otro ser vivo. Este era un tema que estudió mucho durante su formación profesional en astrología y era al que siempre recurría. Una esperanza de una próxima vida lo confortaba antes de su muerte.

Lamentable partida

Poco después de terminar de grabar el documental de Netflix, Walter Mercado murió en San Juan de Puerto Rico en noviembre de 2019 a los 87 años.

El astrólogo murió tranquilo en su mansión después de presentar varios problemas de salud durante años. Falleció rodeado de sus personas más cercanas, sus cuatro sobrinas y su asistente personal, dejando una historia que vivirá por siempre en los corazones de sus seguidores.

Legado para la eternidad

La muerte de Walter Mercado solo resaltó más aún sus logros y la influencia que tuvo durante toda su carrera en la astrología y en el medio artístico.

Su legado permanece incluso después de 50 años de carrera, y aun cuando se ausentó de las pantallas, su imagen fue recordada y extrañada por todos a nivel mundial. Esto es algo que se mantiene después de su muerte, siempre se le recordará con mucho, mucho amor.

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