Mario Moreno Bernat, grandson of legendary Mexican actor Mario Moreno “Cantinflas,” was found dead Monday in a Mexico City hotel room.
The Mexican media reported that Moreno Bernat, 22, –who battled drug addiction for years– was found hanging lifeless in the bathroom of a suite in the Hotel Santa Cruz at around 3:00 a.m.
Mario Moreno Bernat, the son of Cantinflas’ only son, Mario Moreno Ivanova, and Sandra Bernat, was accompanied by a woman who made a statement about the “apparent suicide,” according to MVS radio.
Up to now neither the Mexico state Attorney General’s Office nor the Tlalnepantla municipal police have confirmed how the young man died.
Cantinflas’ grandson had previously filed a complaint against his father which specifically blamed him for introducing him to addictive substances and “meetings with prostitutes,” as well as for “psychological abuse.”
Mario Moreno Bernat said at the time that he had not reported his father before because he feared “more physical and psychological abuse.”
Mario Moreno Ivanova has been working on an animated series on his father’s Cantinflas character called “The Adventures of Cantinflas.” The series will include up to 26 chapters that will be done in motion picture format. Moreno Ivanova said although the project has been delayed due to economical issues, it could be released in a few months.
Cantiflas, one of the greatest Mexican icons
Mario Moreno was the sixth of 8 children and from a very young age he did whatever he could to earn his daily bread. A life that has many similarities to the Cantinflas character, which could have been inspired by his personal experiences.
The comedian enlisted in the Mexican Army as a telegraph operator, dabbled in boxing, dance and acrobatics, did a stint under the big top and acted in theaters before beginning his meteoric movie career.
The success he enjoyed in Mexico, throughout Latin America and in Spain did not come easily in the U.S. market because it was impossible to translate his word play into English. But Mario Moreno did have his time of glory in Hollywood, being under contract to Columbia Pictures. He won the Golden Globe in 1956 for “Around the World in 80 Days”, for best actor in a musical or comedy.
Moreno died in 1993 in Mexico City– the city where he was born and raised. Moreno’s clownish character allowed him to make fun of Mexico’s lack of social reform while making people laugh. The actor went from living in the slums to having a net worth of $25 million, according to the New York Times.