Who was Alvarez Guedes?
Alvarez Guedes was a Cuban comedian, actor, writer, and businessman who was popular among Cuban exiles in Miami and across Latin America. He was born in 1927 in Unión de Reyes, Matanzas, a town known for its rumba culture. He started his showbiz career as a child, entertaining crowds at parties and fairs with his dancing and singing. He later moved to Havana, where he worked in theaters, radio shows, television, and movies. He was famous for his role as el borracho, the drunkard, where he mixed linguistic humor with physical comedy. He also founded Gema Records, a company that launched the careers of many Cuban musicians, such as El Gran Combo, Elena Burke, and Rolando Laserie.
Why did he leave Cuba?
In 1960, Alvarez Guedes was forced into exile by the Cuban Revolution, which he opposed. He first settled in New York City, then in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he made his first comedy album in 1973. He eventually moved to Miami, where he became an icon of the Cuban exile community. He recorded over 30 comedy albums and wrote over 20 books, making jokes about Cuban politics, culture, and everyday life. He also appeared in television shows and stand-up comedy shows, where he delighted his audience with his Cuban accent and witty remarks.
How did he die?
Alvarez Guedes died on July 30, 2013, at his home in Kendall, Miami. He was 86 years old. He had been suffering from a stomach ache earlier that month, which was later diagnosed as a serious illness. The exact cause of death was not disclosed by his family or friends. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren. His funeral was held at Caballero Rivero Woodlawn South Funeral Home and Cemetery, where hundreds of fans and fellow entertainers paid their respects.
What is his legacy?
Alvarez Guedes left a legacy of laughter and joy for millions of people who speak Spanish. He was one of the most well-liked and influential comedians in Latin America, who used humor as a way of coping with the pain of loss and exile. He also contributed to the promotion and preservation of Cuban music and culture, through his record company and his artistic collaborations. He was honored with several awards and recognitions, such as the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and the Key to the City of Miami in 2010. He will always be remembered as a master of comedy and a friend of the Cuban people.