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Mexican woman who reportedly inspired the character of 'Mama Coco' dies at 109

By Harold Lemon Tubiano Published Oct 18, 2022 1:16 pm Updated Oct 18, 2022 1:26 pm

A Mexican woman, who is said to have been the inspiration behind Disney Pixar's Mama Coco, has passed away at the age of 109.  

Mexican native María Salud Ramírez Caballero, who was reportedly the inspiration behind the grandmother character in Coco, was laid to rest in Santa Fe de la Laguna on Oct. 16 in Michoacán, Western Mexico.  

On Twitter, Secretary of Tourism for Michoacán Roberto Monroy confirmed her passing without mentioning the cause of her death, remembering her as a "tireless woman and life model."  

“I deeply regret the death of Doña María Salud Ramírez Caballero, ‘Mamá Coco,’ a tireless woman and example of life, who was the inspiration for this beloved character who went around the world,” he wrote in a translated tweet from Spanish. 

As detailed by TMZ, Disney/Pixar has never confirmed whether Caballero was the exact character's inspiration in the film. However, the production crew visited her town and lived alongside her family for a period of time and photographed her extensively. In her hometown, where she was a clay craftswoman, she was given the nickname of 'Mama Coco' after the movie character.

According to a report from The Daily Mail, her family had been working to have her recognized as the inspiration for Mama Coco since the release of the film, but have been unsuccessful.

The character was voiced by Ana Ofelia Murguía in the 2017 animated film that centers around Mexico's Day of the Dead traditions. The story follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who seeks the help of his deceased musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living and reverse his family's ban on music.

Locals and fans worldwide sent their prayers to the beloved lady following her passing. Caballero is survived by three children, many grandchildren and several great grandchildren. 

Rest in peace, Mama Coco.