Maria Salud Ramirez Caballero, Woman Who Reportedly Inspired Pixar’s Mama Coco, Dies at 109

Maria Salud Ramirez Caballero, the Mexican woman who allegedly inspired the 2017 Pixar film Coco, has died at the age of 109.

By Alexandra Bellusci Oct 17, 2022 5:49 PMTags
Watch: Woman Who Inspired Pixar's Mama Coco Dies at 109

Pixar fans are morning the loss of "Mama Coco."

María Salud Ramírez Caballero who reportedly inspired the character of Mama Coco in Disney-Pixar's Coco, died in Santa Fe de la Laguna, where she was also born. Roberto Monroy, the Secretary of Tourism for the Mexican state of Michoacan announced Caballero's death on Twitter Oct. 16, however a cause of death has yet to be revealed. 

"I deeply regret the death of Doña María Salud Ramírez Caballero, ‘Mamá Coco,' a tireless woman and example of life," Monroy wrote, "who was the inspiration for this beloved character who went around the world."

Along with Monroy, many Coco fans are taking to Twitter to mourn her death.

One user tweeted, "i been crying all morning. bts are enlisted to the army and won't come back until 2025. i just found out MAMA COCO JUST DIED THIS MORNING. i'm going to watch coco tonight," while another tweet read, "woke up to find out the real mama coco died," accompanied by an array of crying emojis.

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The 2017 animated film tells the story of 12-year-old Miguel who strums his ancestor's guitar and ends up in the mystical and colorful Land of the Dead, where he meets his deceased great-great-grandfather. Mama Coco is Miguel's great-grandmother, who was voiced by actress Ana Ofelia Murguia. Alongside Murguia, the film featured the voices of Gael García BernalBenjamin BrattEdward James OlmosAnthony Gonzalez and Alanna Ubach

Although Disney has never officially revealed that Caballero was the inspiration behind the movie's matriarch, they did explain that during the filming process they spoke with numerous families in the area including Caballero's.

Coco was centered around Mexico's Day of the Dead traditions, which was one of the main reasons viewers believed Mama Coco was based on Caballero, along with their similarities in appearance. 

GDA via AP Images/Disney/Pixar/Moviestore/Shutterstock

The real life "Mama Coco" was a ceramic potter and is survived by her three children, grandkids and great-grandkids. 

The film, which broke records in Mexico as the No. 1 film of all time in local currency, also won big during the 2018 Oscars, taking home best animated feature and best original song for "Remember Me" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

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