Cepillín, a Clown Beloved Across Latin America, Is Dead at 75

Cepillín, a Clown Beloved Across Latin America, Is Dead at 75
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Cepillín, a Clown Beloved Across Latin America, Is Dead at 75

Cepillín, a Clown Beloved Across Latin America, Is Dead at 75

MEXICO CITY — Ricardo González Gutiérrez, the beloved Mexican clown referred to as Cepillín who was watched by generations of kids all through Latin America, died on March 8 in Mexico Metropolis. He was 75.

The trigger was cardiac arrest, mentioned his son and fellow performer Ricardo González Guajardo, who added that his father had not too long ago discovered he had most cancers.

Recognized for his cherry-red nostril and his black painted beard, Cepillín combined bodily comedy with tune, dance and ventriloquism in performances on tv in addition to within the circus ring. His falsetto voice crammed houses throughout Mexico, notably to the tune of his ever-popular model of the standard Mexican birthday tune “Las Mañanitas.”

Over a half-century, Cepillín hosted TV reveals broadcast from Mexico, offered hundreds of thousands of copies of his albums of kids’s songs, and later drew hundreds of thousands of viewers to his movies on TikTok and YouTube. And he toured Mexico and the USA with circus firms together with his personal and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, performing for everybody from drug cartel capos to former President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.

By his account, nevertheless, it was his work ethic and never his expertise that made him a family identify within the Spanish-speaking world, together with amongst Latinos in the USA.

“It’s not that I’m the perfect clown,” he mentioned in a 2018 interview on Mexico’s Imagen Televisión. “I’m the one which labored the toughest, that labored essentially the most.”

Ricardo González Gutiérrez was born on Feb. 7, 1946, within the northern metropolis of Monterrey. He was the third baby of seven brothers and sisters. His father, Rubén González Flores, managed a ironmongery store and labored as a radio presenter. His mom, Rebeca Gutiérrez de González, was a homemaker.

Mischievous and stressed as a baby, Cepillín had ambitions early on to be an artist, however his mother and father would have none of it. “In our home there was at all times a ‘no,’ a ‘no’ for all the things,” he advised Mexico’s TV Azteca in an interview broadcast this month. “I used to be trampled.”

Pressured by his mother and father, Ricardo enrolled within the dentistry program at the Autonomous College of Nuevo León. It turned out to be the unintended doorway to his performing profession. As a pupil he joined a tv marketing campaign to advertise dental hygiene amongst kids and got here up with the concept of portray his face in clown make-up to make them much less afraid of the dentist’s chair.

Inspired by their response, he started utilizing his clown persona offscreen as properly, and Cepillín was born. (The identify comes from the Spanish phrase for toothbrush.)

In 1971, he was invited to host his personal present for youngsters on a native TV station. After marrying María Aydé Guajardo, he moved to Mexico Metropolis in 1977 and was employed by the nationwide tv channel Televisa to star in his personal present. “El Present de Cepillín” ran for 3 years and was broadcast all through Latin America.

That 12 months he additionally recorded his first kids’s album — one in all greater than a dozen he would make in his profession, in kinds starting from disco to nation music, at all times delivered in his trademark falsetto.

Cepillín went on to seem on varied native tv stations in Mexico and toured internationally with circus firms, together with his personal, El Circo de Cepillín.

He carried out in a stage version of “Aladdin” with the actress Salma Hayek years earlier than she made it to Hollywood, and appeared within the 1979 movie “Milagro en el Circo” (“Miracle at the Circus”), which featured the Mexican pop star Yuri.

Cepillín had three coronary heart assaults, the primary in 2005. His son Ricardo quickly determined to take to the stage and created his personal persona, Cepi, in homage to his father.

The subsequent 12 months, having recovered, Cepillín started performing with each Cepi and his different son, Roberto González Guajardo, referred to as Franky, on yet one more TV present, “Cepillín Stay,” broadcast in his hometown, Monterrey.

Extra not too long ago, the youthful Mr. González helped his father seize an viewers of a newer technology, performing with him and Franky on social media and on YouTube and TikTok. Cepillín had greater than 4.3 million followers on TikTok alone.

Along with his sons, he’s survived by his spouse of 48 years; his daughter, Aydé González Guajardo; his six siblings, Rubén, Jesús, Teresa, Rebeca, Ana and Gilberto; and 4 grandchildren.

In 2017, Cepillín was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for greatest Latin kids’s album.

“He thought it was actually cool,” Ricardo González mentioned. “He was very happy that he continued to transcend into the current day.”

The album, Cepillín’s final, is titled “Gracias.”

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