Beloved Mexican comedian Roberto Gómez Bolaños, known affectionately as Chespirito, died in Cancun Friday at the age of 85, according to Mexican media reports. One of his most famous characters was the inspiration for the Simpsons character Bumblebee Man.
Clad in a bright-red spandex bodysuit and wearing a headpiece with two bobbing antennas, Gómez Bolaños became the beloved superhero "El Chapulín Colorado,” the Red Grasshopper. He was an atypical superhero, often creating the messes he found himself in and never losing his sense of humor.
His nickname “Chespirito” came from the Spanish phonetic pronunciation of Shakespeare “chespir” combined with the Spanish diminutive suffix “ito,” according to the Guardian. It translates to “Little Shakespeare.”
“Mexico has lost an icon whose work has transcended generations and borders,” President Enrique Peña Nieto said on his Twitter account.
Gómez Bolaños was widely loved across Latin America. He was so popular that his Twitter account, which boasted a single tweet, garnered a million followers in just a month, according to the Guardian. After his death was announced, fans, family and friends paid Gómez Bolaños their respects on social media using the hashtag #Chespirito.
"The Hispanic market has never had such a beloved celebrity like Roberto Gómez Bolaños and perhaps there will never be one like him," Maca Rotter, the executive director of Televisa Consumer Products, told the Latin Times. "He has been a Mexican icon for past and future generations, considering that his heritage is more alive than ever."
Gómez Bolaños’ cause of death has not yet been reported, but his family said he had been having health problems since April, according to the Latin Times. He is survived by his wife Florinda Meza, six children from a previous marriage and 12 grandchildren.
Below, some of the lines that helped Bolaños become ‘Chespirito’:
“Nicknames are the most essential in life, more valuable than names.” (Via the Guardian)
“Sir, I'm sorry you do not like my programs. Me neither. But of what value is your opinion and mine against millions of viewers around the world."
“¡Síganme los buenos!” (Only the good ones follow me) A famous line of one of his best-known characters El Chapulin Colorado.
"I'll be with Florinda till death do us part or until Shakira ignores me. Florinda made me a faithful man." (Via The Latin Times)
“You didn’t count on my cleverness.”
"¿Sabías que la gente sigue diciendo que tú y yo estamos locos?" (You know people keep saying that you and I are crazy?) This is recurring line from one of his best-known roles in the TV series Chaparrón Bonaparte, according to the Huffington Post.