Walter Mercado, Celebrity Astrologer Known for Daily Horoscopes, Dies at 87: 'Truly an Icon'

Walter Mercado, the iconic Puerto Rican astrologer, has died. He was 87.

Mercado died on Saturday night, his niece Dannette Benet Mercado confirms to PEOPLE.

The beloved astrologer died at about 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Auxilio Mutuo hospital in Puerto Rico from kidney failure, a hospital spokesperson told the Associated Press.

Mercado had been in the hospital since October, according to Telemundo Puerto Rico. The outlet reported that earlier this week, Dando Candela host Fernan Vélez said he was in stable condition.

Mercado, who was born in 1932, has influenced generations of people worldwide, winning over television audiences with his daily video horoscopes — which began airing on El Show de las 12 in 1970.

Finding his psychic calling as a child, Mercado previously told PEOPLE en Español that he “would get home from school, sit in a small chair and people would come to meet me. They touched me and kissed my hand. Like I was a pope, and I was a little boy!”

Before he became a famous astrologer, he was an actor and dancer, appearing in various films, plays and telenovelas.

Walter Mercado

Mercado’s enigmatic and larger-than-life personality — accented with colorful capes, exotic rings, and positive spiritual messages — made him loved by the masses.

“RIP to Walter Mercado, the man who told us everyday to look to the stars and to live, sobre todo, with mucho, mucho amor. Truly an icon who will be missed,” wrote one fan on social media, including the star’s catchphrase “above all, lots and lots of love.”

Added another, “a legend across generations and always the brightest sequin on life’s glittering cape. hasta la próxima, walter mercado.”

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