On Saturday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the passing of Xavier López, a beloved children’s comic better known as “Chabelo,” at the age of 88. López was best known for his long-running Sunday variety show, En Familia con Chabelo, which aired for an impressive 48 years, from 1967 to 2015.
President López Obrador shared on his Twitter account that his own eldest son used to wake up early to watch Chabelo on television over 40 years ago. Despite his advanced age, López continued to perform in childlike attire and with a raspy, youthful voice that he maintained throughout his career.
As a US citizen born in Chicago to Mexican parents, López returned to Mexico as a child and initially trained to become a doctor before discovering his passion for acting. He was instrumental in popularizing a genre of adult comics that featured performers dressed as children, which became a staple of Mexican television for decades.
According to López’s agent, Jessica Nevilley, he passed away on Saturday morning due to complications from an abdominal condition. His family expressed their grief on his fan page, noting that he had passed away suddenly. López is survived by his wife and several children. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.