A Mexican woman named Maria Salud Ramirez Caballero, who is said to have acted as the model for one of the lead characters in the 2017 Pixar film Coco, has gone away at the age of 109.
Roberto Monroy, the Michoacan state tourism secretary, announced her passing on Sunday, although no official cause of death was given.
As a “tireless woman and life model,” Caballero was honored by Monroy, who also disclosed that she died in Santa Fe de la Laguna, the same city where she was born more than a century earlier.
In a statement, he said: “I am extremely grieved by the departure of Maria Salud Ramirez Caballero, “Mama Coco,” a hardworking lady and role model who served as the model for this well-known figure that became internationally famous.
I really wish for her ultimate peace and the comfort of her family.
She was given the moniker “Mama Coco” in honor of the cartoon movie character she had inspired.
The Disney film follows aspiring musician Miguel as he travels to the Land of the Dead in search of his famed singer great-great-grandfather after learning of his family’s historical opposition to music.
Ana Ofelia Murgua performed Mama Coco’s voice in the movie.
Disney has never formally acknowledged Caballero as the model for the popular figure, but according to her family, a crew from Pixar visited their neighborhood, extensively photographed her, and even temporarily resided with them.
Since the movie’s debut in 2017, her family has attempted but failed to get her acknowledged as the model for Mama Coco.
Caballero was a potter who also produced other products out of clay and sold them to the villagers.
Three children, several grandchildren, and numerous great grandchildren remain.
With gross receipts of $210.5 million in the US and Canada and $597.4 million globally, Coco was a global phenomenon at the box office.