In Memoriam: Walter Mercado, 1932–2019

November 7, 2019 - January 19, 2020

Born Ponce, Puerto Rico 

Known for his glimmering beaded-capes, Walter Mercado is a Puerto Rican television personality whose programs have been widely popular in both Latin America and the United States since the 1970s. His show business career began by accident when he was asked at the last minute to substitute for a missing guest on a Puerto Rican television program, performing as an astrologer. The appearance was a hit and he built a following that allowed him to create and produce his own astrology show, as well as segments, broadcast in the United States from 1994 to 2010 by Univisión network. For fans, Walter, more than a psychic is a trustworthy voice on matters ranging from everyday life advice to politics, and sports. His predictions are also published in newspapers and magazines, and his voice is familiar on Latino radio. In 2010 he changed his name to “Shanti Ananda”, Sanskrit for “peace happiness.”

Alexis Rodríguez Duarte (1961)
Tico Torres (1962)
Gelatin silver print, 1998 (printed 2016)
NPG.2017.02

prayerful man in an interior
Walter Mercado channeling Greta Garbo in Vogue / Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte, / Stylist: Tico Torres, born 1961 / 1998 (printed 2016), Gelatin silver printNational Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / © 1998, Alexis Rodríguez-DuarteCaption