Chespirito, also known by his government name Roberto Gomez Bolaños, received the Legend Award at the 25th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards last week. The 82-year-old legendary Mexican actor is best known for his role in El Chavo del Ocho, a Televisa show that centers on the adventures of an orphan named Chavo and other inhabitants of an apartment building. Bolaños, who created the sitcom, played the orphan, who was named El Chavo. The show was incredibly popular in Latin America, spreading to the United States, Brazil, and Spain.
The comic still has jokes up his sleeve. People en Español reports that after a transmitted video showed Bolaños excusing himself for his absence from the awards ceremony, he suddenly appeared onto the stage in a wheelchair and accompanied by his wife, Florinda Meza. "Thank you, thank you so much, this is incredibly beautiful," he said with emotion. "This award is a huge distinction that I appreciate for all its value. It is immense for me." Bolaños added that he was unable to walk because he has had a few heart attacks.
The awards ceremony, which was hosted by Cuban actor William Levy and Mexican actress Maite Perroni, took place last Thursday at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Colombian rocker Juanes and Panamanian salsero Rubén Blades also took home awards.
Many congratulations to Chespirito - and the other winners!