Xavier López, a Mexican children’s comic better known by his stage name “Chabelo,” has died at the age of 88, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wrote Saturday.
López’s best-known work, the Sunday variety show “En Familia con Chabelo,” ran for an astonishing 48 years from 1967 to 2015, Mexico’s longest-running television show.
The Mexican president he wrote on his Twitter account that his oldest son, Jose Ramon, “woke up early to see him (on TV) more than 40 years ago.”
López, who was no relation to the president, usually performed dressed in children’s clothes until he was in his 80s.
He helped found a genre of comics for adults dressed as children that became a staple for decades on Mexican television.
His longevity – played with a childish squeak throughout his career – led to wild speculation that he would outlive everyone else in show business.
López’s agent, Jessica Nevilley, said he died Saturday morning.
His private funeral will be held later on Saturday.
An American citizen—born in Chicago to Mexican parents—López returned to Mexico with his family at a young age and trained as a doctor. But he found his calling in acting.
The comic’s family wrote on his fan page that López “died suddenly of abdominal complications.”
He is survived by many children and his wife.