Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova was the adopted son of the legendary Mexican comedian and actor Mario Moreno, better known as Cantinflas. He inherited his father’s fortune and rights to his films, but also faced legal disputes, family conflicts, and personal problems. He died of a heart attack on May 15, 2017, at the age of 57. How did he become the heir of Cantinflas and what led to his demise?
The Adoption of Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova
Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova was born on July 10, 1960, in Mexico City. He was the biological son of Mario Moreno Laparade, the nephew of Cantinflas, and his wife, Silvia Suárez. However, when he was only a few months old, he was adopted by Cantinflas and his wife, Valentina Ivanova Zuvareff, who could not have children of their own. According to some sources, the adoption was a secret agreement between the relatives, while others claim that it was a legal process. In any case, Moreno Ivanova grew up as the only son of Cantinflas, who loved him dearly and gave him everything he wanted.
The Legacy of Cantinflas
Cantinflas was one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Mexican cinema and comedy. He starred in over 50 films, both in Mexico and Hollywood, and created a unique character that charmed audiences with his wit, humor, and social criticism. He was also a philanthropist, a political activist, and a cultural icon. He died of lung cancer on April 20, 1993, at the age of 81.
As the sole heir of Cantinflas, Moreno Ivanova inherited his father’s fortune, estimated at over $50 million, and the rights to his films, which generated millions of dollars in royalties. He also inherited his father’s mansion, cars, art collection, and other assets. However, he also inherited his father’s enemies, who wanted a piece of his legacy.
The Disputes over Cantinflas’ Estate
Soon after Cantinflas’ death, Moreno Ivanova faced several legal battles over his inheritance. The first one was with his biological father, Moreno Laparade, who claimed that the adoption was invalid and that he was the rightful heir of Cantinflas. The case lasted for over 20 years, and involved multiple lawsuits, appeals, and injunctions. The courts ruled in favor of Moreno Ivanova, who managed to keep his father’s estate.
The second dispute was with Columbia Pictures, the Hollywood studio that distributed Cantinflas’ films in the United States and other countries. The studio claimed that it had the exclusive rights to exploit Cantinflas’ image and name, and that Moreno Ivanova had no authority to license them to other companies. The case also lasted for several years, and ended with a settlement in 2014, in which Columbia agreed to pay Moreno Ivanova an undisclosed amount of money and to share the rights to Cantinflas’ films.
The third dispute was with his own family, especially his cousins, Eduardo and Gabriel Moreno Laparade, the sons of his biological father. They accused Moreno Ivanova of mismanaging Cantinflas’ estate, of squandering his money, and of neglecting his legacy. They also claimed that they had the right to participate in the decisions regarding Cantinflas’ films and image. They sued Moreno Ivanova several times, and even tried to block the release of a biopic about Cantinflas in 2014, which Moreno Ivanova had authorized and produced.
The Personal Problems of Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova
Besides the legal troubles, Moreno Ivanova also faced personal problems that affected his health and well-being. He was married four times, and divorced three times. His first wife was Sandra Bernat, with whom he had a son, Mario Moreno Bernat, in 1981. His second wife was Marisa de Lille, a singer and actress, with whom he had a daughter, Marisa Moreno de Lille, in 1986. His third wife was Sandra Echeverría, a model and actress, whom he married in 2004 and divorced in 2008. His fourth and last wife was Tita Marbez, a lawyer and socialite, whom he married in 2010 and separated from in 2016.
Moreno Ivanova also struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, depression, and obesity. He was arrested several times for driving under the influence, and was involved in car accidents and scandals. He underwent several treatments and surgeries to lose weight and improve his health, but without much success. He also suffered the loss of his son, Mario Moreno Bernat, who committed suicide in 2013, at the age of 32. Moreno Bernat had accused his father of abusing him and introducing him to drugs and alcohol when he was a teenager.
The Death of Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova
Moreno Ivanova died of a heart attack on May 15, 2017, at his home in Mexico City. He was found by his maid, who called the paramedics, but they could not revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 57 years old. His death was confirmed by his publicist, Emilio Morales, who posted a message on Facebook. He also said that Moreno Ivanova’s widow, Tita Marbez, was with him at the time of his death. He added that Moreno Ivanova had a congenital heart disease, and that he had been under a lot of stress due to his legal and family issues.
Moreno Ivanova’s funeral was held on May 16, at the French Pantheon of San Joaquin, where his father was also buried. His body was cremated after a private mass. His daughter, Marisa Moreno de Lille, and his cousins, Eduardo and Gabriel Moreno Laparade, attended the ceremony, along with other relatives and friends. His widow, Tita Marbez, did not attend, as she said she wanted to respect his wishes and avoid any conflict with his family.
Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova’s cause of death was a result of his chronic heart condition and his stressful lifestyle. He was a victim of his own demons and his family’s greed. He was also a protector of his father’s legacy and a producer of his biopic. His story is a sad and dramatic one that should not be forgotten.