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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Mexican Children’s television icon ‘Chabelo’ dies at the age of 88

Actor Xavier Lopez “Chabelo”, one of the best-known faces in the history of Mexican cinema and television, died at the age of 88, his family announced Saturday.

“This is a very sad morning, Xavier López ‘Chabelo’, father, brother and husband has left us suddenly, due to abdominal complications,” his family wrote on his Twitter account.

“We ask you to pray for his repose and give us the opportunity to pass in peace the grief that overwhelms our entire family,” he added.

Of Mexican parents, the actor was born on February 17, 1935 in Chicago, United States, and made his entire career in Mexico.

His character “Chabelo” represented a mischievous boy dressed in shorts and tennis shoes who used different words that ended up becoming part of the Mexican lexicon, such as “cuate” to refer to a friend or “catafixia” to refer to the exchange of one object for another.

When portraying this character, Lopez made a characteristic child’s voice that contrasted with his real voice, with a much deeper tone.

“Chabelo” was an important presence in the so-called golden age of Mexican cinema, where he shared the screen with actors of the stature of Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” and Mauricio Garcés.

However, his name became famous throughout Mexico for the program “En familia con Chabelo”, which Televisa, the largest television network in the Spanish-speaking world, aired on Sundays from 1967 to 2015.

It was a family program in which the actor presented contests and songs and lasted several hours.

The broadcasting time of that program earned “Chabelo” a Guinness record.

The actor also participated in other broadcasts, such as “La carabina de Ambrosio”, a comedy program that was aired in several Latin American countries and where he shared credits with other important Mexican television personalities of the time, such as Alejandro Suárez or Paco Stanley.

“Chabelo” also recorded several albums using the voice of his character and his image was used in toys and shoes.

Following the news of his death, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed his condolences.

“I embrace family and friends for the passing of Xavier Lopez ‘Chabelo’. How could I forget my eldest son waking up early to see him more than 40 years ago,” he wrote on Twitter.

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