Latin America & Caribbean

Adored Mexican comic actor Ruben Aguirre dies

Ruben Aguirre Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ruben Aguirre was best known for his character Professor Jirafale

Mexican comic actor Ruben Aguirre, loved by millions of children and adults across Latin America, has died, aged 82.

Aguirre was best known for his role in the long-running children's TV series El Chavo del Ocho, where he played the teacher, Professor Jirafales.

Episodes of the programme were repeated for years across Latin America, dubbed into Portuguese in Brazil.

He had been very ill for some time and died in his home in Puerto Vallarta.

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Media captionRuben Aguirre has died at the age of 82

In his role as Professor Jirafales, a play on the word "giraffe" because Ruben Aguirre was very tall and skinny, he enchanted his audience with his gentle slapstick humour, his catchphrases and his character's courtship of a local woman who had a cheeky son in his class.

He had started early in show business, first in radio, then television, and played various comedy roles.

In the nineties when his television contracts had finished he bought a circus and travelled with it across the Americas.

At one time he had earned a living as a bull-fighting commentator and he presented the first bullfight broadcast live via satellite from Madrid to Mexico.

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