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Fans say farewell to legendary Puerto Rico astrologer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Dozens of admirers are saying goodbye to legendary Puerto Rico astrologer Walter Mercado, who was a TV star and an icon in the gay community beloved by millions in the U.S. and across Latin America.

Mercado lay in his coffin on Wednesday wearing a velvet suit that ranged from his favorite color, violet, to dark blue as a petite woman stood nearby, transfixed by a screen that showed pictures of him as she wiped away tears.

She was among the dozens of admirers who stopped by a funeral home in the capital of San Juan to pay their respects. Fans ranged from elderly women with pearl earrings and immaculate manicures to people in their 40s wearing faded tank tops and sneakers.

Mercado died late Saturday from kidney failure.

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