Mexican woman who 'inspired' character Mamá Coco from Pixar film Coco has died at 109
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A Mexican woman, who 'inspired' an iconic character from Pixar’s film Coco, has passed away at age 109.
Maria Salud Ramirez Caballero's death was announced by the Secretary of Tourism for the Mexican state of Michoacán Roberto Monroy.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Maria Salud Ramirez Caballero, [or] 'Mamá Coco', a tireless woman and example of life, who was the inspiration for this beloved character that went around the world," he said, as per a statement obtained by Spanish language radio station ElBolton.
"My prayers for her rest and for her family to find resignation."
Monroy added that she had just turned 109 in September.
"[She] spent her last years of life being a tourist attraction in the town of Santa Fe de la Laguna in the municipality of Quiroga in the state of Michoacán," he said, as per ElBolton.
No official cause of death was revealed, but Monroy also revealed that the woman who inspired Pixar's stoic and wise Mamá Coco passed away in the very same town that she was born in more than a century ago.
Disney has never formally recognised Caballero as the basis for the beloved Pixar character.
However, her family claims that a Pixar team visited their area to extensively photograph the woman and even lived with them for a period, according to the Daily Mail.
Her family had been working to have her recognised as the inspiration for Mamá Coco ever since the release of the 2017 film, but have so far remained unsuccessful in their endeavours.
But that hasn't stopped fans from making the trek to see Mamá Coco in real life.
As per South American news site Recreio, tourists flooded to the city in which Ramírez lived in order to meet the real life Pixar star.
Her house became a tourist hotspot, with people visiting to take photos with the Mexican woman and to listen to her stories and to give 'the real-life Mamá Coco' gifts.
Caballero was a clay craftswoman who made pots in addition to other items and sold them off to her neighbours and other locals.
She is survived by three children, a heap of grandchildren, and numerous great grandchildren.
Coco was a worldwide box office sensation, grossing a grand total of USD$807 million.