Scandals, addictions and money problems: the turbulent family history of Cantinflas

The unforgettable Mexican actor, who died in 1993, leaves a son and five grandchildren whose life was marked by tragedies and scandals.

Mario Fortino Alfonso Moreno Reyes is perhaps one of the greatest cultural icons of Mexico .

The late actor, comedian and producer managed to captivate millions of viewers after playing one of the most memorable figures in Latin American cinema: Cantinflas . Even today, it continues to bear the name of this iconic character.

In his youth, he pursued several professions that had little to do with acting. He was a boxer, shoemaker, chemist and even bullfighter. Until the 1930s, he gradually began to participate in traveling theaters in Mexico.

It was from this moment that he gradually began his acting career. With the movie There is the detail (1940), Moreno rose to fame playing this friendly young man called Cantinflas, which would later lead him to participate in projects in Hollywood.

However, not everything was successful in the history of the famous actor. And the life of his family, made up of his only son, his nephew and his grandchildren, was marked by tragedies and scandals.

The origin of Cantinflas’ son

Cantinflas only married once in his life. In 1929, while he was still working in traveling theaters, he met Valentina Ivanová , a Russian-born actress who moved to Mexico with her family after the Russian Civil War. They fell in love instantly and five years later, they decided to formalize their relationship through marriage.

In 1960, the couple decided to add a new member to the family. They call him Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova and he was the Mexican actor’s only child. However, its origin has been the subject of various speculations.

Valentina and Cantinflas defended that Moreno Ivanova was legally adopted, as they were both infertile and had been trying to have biological children for decades, but were unable to do so.

Cantinflas and his son.

The other version states that the child was born from a short-lived relationship between Cantinflas and a young American woman named Marion Roberts . In 1959, the woman arrived with her friends at a hotel in Mexico City, but after a few days they realized that they had no money to pay for their stay.

After her friends abandoned her there, a hotel employee suggested that Cantinflas could help her get through it, as the actor had a reputation for providing financial support to anyone who needed it . He accepted and they then allegedly began a relationship.

According to this version, Roberts gave birth to Moreno Ivanova in September 1960. . Later, the woman allegedly gave the child to Cantinflas, who took him to live with his Russian wife.

Although some time later the American woman tried to get her son back, her efforts were in vain. In 1961, a year after Moreno Ivanova’s birth, Roberts committed suicide in a room at the Alfer Hotel in Mexico City.

“When I turned 18, (my father) told me that he had conceived me with an American woman, that I was born in the United States and that they brought me to Mexico 15 days later my birth. “My father’s wife immediately accepted the situation. » Cantinflas’s own son would say.

Just five years after the child’s arrival, the Moreno Ivanova family received a heavy blow: at the age of 50, Valentina died of bone cancer.

Struggles for inheritance

On April 20, 1993, the world learned that Cantinflas had died of a heart attack after suffering from lung cancer. Shortly after, an intense legal dispute between his only son and his nephew, Eduardo Moreno Laparade, to keep the millionaire’s fortune.

According to Moreno Laparade, a month before his uncle’s death, he signed a document in which he transferred all the rights to his films to him. Furthermore, he claimed that his cousin was a “criminal” and that even though he “had almost everything,” he wasted the money on cocaine.

Moreno Ivanova, for her part, pointed out that the signing of the documents took place when her father was dying in hospital and that he was the direct heir as stated in the will.

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled in favor of the nephew of the “Mime of Mexico”. But after appealing twice, it was ultimately Moreno Ivanova who won the fortune.

Moreno Ivanova was left with the Cantinflas legacy.

Grandchildren of Cantinflas

Mario Moreno Ivanova’s first marriage was to Abril del Moral, with whom he had Mario And Valentina , then married Sandra Bernat. Following this last relationship, Mario Patricio and the twins Maria And Gabriel . With his third wife, Tita Marbez, he had no children.

In his role as father, the Cantinflas heir also had several controversies. Indeed, several of his children have accused him of having committed physical and psychological violence and of being responsible for having encouraged them to use drugs and alcohol from a very young age.

In July 2012, Mario Patricio filed a complaint against his father for corruption of minors. According to his testimony, at age 14 he tried cocaine encouraged by Moreno Ivanova. “Several times, I was locked up with him in hotels, in clubs without saying that he was the son of Cantinflas and that he was using drugs,” he said.

“It completely changed my life, as a result today I have neither studies nor tools to face life, the only thing we are looking for with this is that justice is done,” added the young man .

A year later, Mario Patricio was found dead in the room of the Santa Cruz hotel in Tlalnepantla. He committed suicide at age 22.

At the same time, Gabriel decides to leave his home and begins living on the streets of Tecamachalco. There, his previous substance use increased.

In an interview he gave to the podcast Nothing happens, Gabriel also pointed out that his addiction began after his father forcibly introduced him to drug use when he was just 16 years old. To get money, he stole from his own mother, prostituted himself or attacked strangers.

My father told me he was going to make a man of me, he took me to a well-known brothel in Mexico City that no longer exists. He started pulling out staples (cocaine), he told me to shoot it. I told him no and he hit me several times, and afraid he would continue hitting me, I gave him cocaine. he said.

In September 2017, Moreno Ivanova’s first wife, Abril del Moral, decided to help her stepson and covered the costs of rehabilitation at the clinic of former Mexican boxer Julio César Chávez.

Around this time, it also emerged that Marisa, another granddaughter of the comedian, was also battling drug addiction and had entered the same facility. In addition, the young woman suffered consequences on her mental health after being a victim of gender-based violence in 2015: Her partner at the time, Alain Meder, beat her and left her with 200 fractures to her face.

Mario Patricio, Gabriel and Marisa are the children that Mario Moreno Ivanova had with Sandra Bernat.

After several months, the twins were able to recover successfully. In interview with the program FirsthandAbril del Moral reported that the brothers lived in an apartment in the city of Culiacán and were able to resume their lives.

However, in 2022, a new episode concerned Marisa. Her mother, Sandra, accused her of admitting her to a rehabilitation clinic for a year in order to appropriate her property.

Meanwhile, Valentina and Mario Moreno del Moral, the Mexican icon’s other grandchildren, had to star in an argument with Tita Marbez.

After Cantinflas’ only son died in 2017 from a heart attack, what remained of the fortune passed into the hands of his third wife. Although their romantic relationship had ended by then, the divorce was not yet finalized.

The actor’s grandchildren have expressed their disagreement with the fact that Marbez holds this inheritance and assure that it is not used as it should. But the woman claims that when Moreno Ivanova died, she left no inheritance.

“Those who knew us or knew Mario Arturo (Moreno Ivanova), know that when he entered my life in 2009, he brought nothing, absolutely nothing. “He had debts, he had arguments, he had legal problems, he had the whole legal problem with his father unfinished business.” precise.

Source: Latercera

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