Mara Salud Ramrez Caballero, the 109-year-old woman who allegedly inspired Mama Coco in Pixar’s 2017 film Coco, has died.
Mara Salud Ramrez Caballero died yesterday (October 18) in her hometown of Santa Fe de la Laguna, Mexico.
Caballero was born on September 16, 1913, and was known locally as Mama Coco because it was widely assumed that Mama Coco, Miguel’s great-grandmother in the beloved Pixar film “Coco”, was modeled after her.
Following Caballero’s death, Michoacan Secretary of Tourism Roberto Monroy told Marca: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of Maria Salud Ramirez Caballero, Mamá Coco, a tireless woman and example of life, who was the inspiration for this beloved character that went around the world. I pray for her eternal rest and for her family to find peace of mind.”
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Despite her fame as Mamà Coco, Disney and Pixar have never acknowledged Cabellero as the character’s inspiration. In fact, when The New York Times reported that the Coco characters were based on “real-world families” they met “while visiting the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Guanajuato,” Pixar didn’t name anyone.
Caballero stated to New China TV in 2018: “[Pixar] offered me so many things, but nothing came of it. They only came and took my picture and took it with them. They asked me what I need. Well, look at how I live and alone. My daughters live here, behind the house. And I’m here alone, that’s what I have.”
Unkrich later revealed;
“This is not a true story. The character of Mamá Coco was not based upon any real person we met in our travels. She sprang solely from our imagination.”
May her sole rest in perfect peace