|Born||Walter Mercado Salinas
25 April 1931
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Education||University of Puerto Rico|
|Known for||Astrologer, actor, dancer, writer|
|Awards||Mr. Televisión (N.Y.C.)
Señor Televisión (D.R.)
Walter Mercado Salinas (born 25 April 1931), also known by his stage name Shanti Ananda, is a Puerto Rican dancer, actor and writer, but best known as a television personality for his shows as an astrologer. His astrology predictions shows aired for decades in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States.
Mercado was born on 25 April 1931, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where he spent his early childhood. His parents were José María Mercado, from Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Aída Salinas from Catalonia, Spain. Mercado attended university majoring in pedagogy, psychology and pharmacy, and used these skills to teach others, to study the human mind and to learn about the healing properties of medicinal plants.
He also studied singing had a talent for dancing. He was one of the most prolific dancers in Puerto Rico. He also studied classic ballet, as well as modern ballet and ballet. He was the dancing partner of comedian Velda González.
Walter Mercado worked as an actor in the Puerto Rican telenovelas Un adiós en el recuerdo (A Farewell to the Memory) and Larga distancia (Long Distance), and also had a dramatic arts school called Walter Actors Studio 64.
His debut as a TV entertainer came when in a TV program by Puerto Rican producer Elín Ortíz, in the Telemundo network an invited artists did not show up. Walter Mercado happened to have been at the station and Ortiz asked Mercado to use up the artist's 15-minute allotment to make some astrological predictions wearing some fancy robes. After that, Mercado was made a regular with the predictions.
In 1970, Mercado started his regular astrology segment in El Show de las 12. He enhanced his studies with formal study into astrology tarot and other occult sciences. Mercado hosted a weekly astrology television show at WKAQ-TV, Channel 2/Telemundo. After several years, when the network changed its programming, Mercado moved his show to WRIK-TV (channel 7 in Ponce) where he hosted it for many years. Westinghouse was a steady and long-time sponsor. In the 1980s, his show was seen in several TV channels throughout Latin America and the United States.
When WRIK-TV was bought by Tommy Muñiz, Mercado stayed for two years, then moved his show to WKBM-TV, Channel 11/Tele Once, and which later became WLII-TV/Univision. In addition to the TV programs, Mercado also wrote his predictions for newspapers, magazines, and web pages. He was a syndicated writer in the Miami Herald. He also appears on various radio segments. From 1994 to 2009, he appeared on Primer Impacto, which airs on the Univision network in the United States.
In 1986 Mercado was awarded the title Mr. Televisión by the Asociación de Cronistas del Espectáculo de Nueva York (Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York). By the end of the 1980s, Mercado had authored seven books, of which one, "Más allá del horizonte" (Beyond the Horizon), being published in three languages (Spanish, English and Portuguese).
From the mid 1990s until 2010, Mercado's show aired in the Univision network throughout the Americas, but on 8 January 2010, and after a fifteen-year relationship, Mercado announced that he and television network Univision have parted ways.
In 2003 he announced that he maintained a "spiritual relationship" with the Brazilian actress and dancer Mariette Detotto, with whom he shared a TV program. He always maintained his residence in Puerto Rico.
In October 2010, Mercado changed his name to "Shanti Ananda", a translation in Sanskrit of "peace happiness." He says a "being of light" imparted a spiritual revelation to him, which he refers to as his "authentic mystic name." He is planning to write a book in 2012 under this new name.
In January 2012, Mercado lost a lawsuit against Bart Enterprises International, for which he was trying to prevent from using his name and likeness in future commercial ventures. Mercado, who signed a contract with the company in 1995 severed with the company in 2006, which resulted in litigation being filed by both parties against each other. Chief Judge Sandra Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that Bart Enterprises can continue using Mercado's name and likeness in future commercial projects. When asked about his legal case over the rights to his name he replied, "I worked for many years, and gave some releases without thinking much about human wickedness."
Health condition and recovery
In January 2012, Mercado was flown to Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, with cardiac problems. He said he "had gone and seen death and came back to life again". Since the experience he said he has changed. He said he wants to work with Puerto Rican youth, plans to establish the Shanti Ananda foundation, create a mystic center, and donate three of his lavish capes to a museum. Most of his sumptuous capes had already been sold at auctions.
- Awarded Mr. Televisión title by the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York.
- Awarded Señor Televisión title at the 1972 Festival de Codazos in the Dominican Republic.
- Historia de mi vida (1963)
- Ana Rosa (1965)
- La mujer de aquella noche (1968)
- Recordar (1968)
- Entre el puñal y la cruz (1969)
- Una sombra (1970)
- La intrusa (1970)
- Bodas de sangre
- La dama de las camelias
- Androcles y el león
- Los cuatro coroneles
- El tríptico de amor, dolor y muerte
- Todos los hijos de Dios tienen alas (1960)
- Look Back in Anger (Mirando hacia atrás con ira) (1970)
- Walter '84
- Walter '86 (Sonotone)
- Walter Mercado 1986
- Guía para una vida mejor (1997)
- Puerto Rican Psychic Loses Rights to His Name Barbara Leonard. Court House News Service. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Copy of original birth record, provided by Euardo Castellanos, linked in Astrodatabank holding " las seis de la mañana del día veinticinco de abril de mil novecientos treintiuno y en la casa del declarante nació un niño de raza blanca al que se le puso por nombre Walter" (at 6 am on April 25, 1931, in the house of the declarant, a white child was born which was called Walter)."
- "Walter Mercado." (in Spanish). Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Nacional. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- De Walter Mercado a Shanti Ananda: Metamorfosis del astrólogo más famoso de América Latina. El Nuevo Dia. 11 January 2012.
- Walter Mercado sin Univisión en su futuro. Ana Enid López Rodríguez. Primera Hora. 8 January 2010.
- Walter Mercado: Vengo de la Tumba. Patricia Vargas. El Nuevo Dia. San Juan, Puerto Rico. 15 February 2012. Page 74.
- Vengo de la Tumba. vLex Puerto Rico. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- IMDB Internet Movie Database
- KNGINE Movies
- FILM Annex