On the morning of April 15, 1957, the world was shocked by the news of the tragic passing of Mexican movie star and singer, Pedro Infante. The beloved star of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and an aviation enthusiast met a tragic end when his plane crashed in Merida, Yucatan. Spanning over six decades, the mystery surrounding his demise continues to captivate fans, historians, and conspiracy theorists alike. This article delves into the enigma of how did Pedro Infante die, unraveling the complexities of the theories, speculations, and the official version of events.
The Life of the Iconic Pedro Infante
Born on November 18, 1917, in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, Pedro Infante Cruz emerged as an iconic figure in the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. The talented Latin American actor and singer was the third of fifteen children, nine of whom survived. Infante’s family moved to Guasave, and later to Rosario, Sinaloa in his early years. The young Infante demonstrated a keen interest and talent for music, learning strings, wind, and percussion instruments in a short span of time.
During the peak of his career, the famous Mexican actor appeared in more than 60 films and recorded approximately 350 songs. His exemplary performance in the film “Tizoc” won him the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 7th Berlin International Film Festival. Infante’s tremendous popularity not only spread across Mexico but also resonated throughout Latin America.
Many people consider him the Elvis Presley of Latin America.
The Fateful Day: April 15, 1957
On that fateful day of April 15, 1957, the movie actor, an ardent aviation lover, was piloting a cargo plane carrying several tons of fish for the company “Mariscos del Golfo.” Merely 15 minutes after takeoff, the plane suffered an engine failure and crashed, creating a massive explosion. The debris and cargo were scattered across more than 100 meters from the site of the accident.
The plane collapsed onto the yard of a house, where a mother and her son were also tragically killed. The crash occurred between 7:30 and 08:00 in the morning at the intersection of 54th South and 87th Street in the city of Merida, Yucatan.
The Aftermath: Recognition and Controversy
The immediate aftermath of the crash was a scene of devastation. The wreckage was engulfed in flames, making it challenging to identify the victims. It was a firefighter who discovered a bracelet engraved with the name “Pedro Infante” and the winged insignia symbolizing his aviator license, which led to the identification of Infante’s body. Further identification was made during the autopsy of the movie actor, owing to the metal plate in Infante’s forehead from a previous plane crash in 1949.
The Conspiracy Theories: Was it a Hoax?
The shocking and untimely death of Mexican singer Pedro Infante gave rise to numerous conspiracy theories, with many fans refusing to believe that their idol had met such a tragic end. Speculations were rife that Infante had faked his death, an idea fueled by several factors. One of the most significant was the appearance of a mysterious character, Antonio Pedro Hurtado Borjon, 26 years after Infante’s death.
Antonio Pedro bore a striking physical resemblance to Infante and claimed that he was the real Pedro Infante. He even had a singing voice that closely matched that of the deceased star. Adding to the mystery, Antonio Pedro had a similar scar on his chin, which Infante had received after an accident during the filming of the movie “A Toda Maquina” in 1951.
Antonio Pedro: The Self-Proclaimed Pedro Infante
Antonio Pedro’s claims of being the real Pedro Infante stirred controversy and doubt among fans and the public. His claims were further reinforced when he began demanding royalties, asserting that he came from “Un pueblo norteño.” Despite the mounting speculation, Infante’s daughter, Lupita Infante, dismissed Antonio Pedro as an impersonator. She even offered to undergo DNA tests to prove the alleged family ties, but no one responded to her call.
The Real Pedro Infante: A Closer Look
Pedro Infante was a passionate individual, both in his professional and personal life. His love for aviation was well-known, and he had logged 2,989 flight hours under the pseudonym Captain Cruz. Despite surviving two plane crashes in 1947 and 1949, Infante’s fascination with flying remained undeterred.
Beyond his love for aviation, Infante was known for his romantic relationships. His affair with Blanca Estela Pavon, a love story that transcended the filming studios, is etched in the annals of Mexican cinema. However, his life was not devoid of tragedy. Infante lost his hearing in one ear due to a plane crash in 1949 and was diagnosed with diabetes.
The Death of Pedro Infante: The Official Version
According to the official version of events, Latin American singer Pedro Infante met his tragic end on the morning of April 15, 1957, when the plane he was piloting crashed. An engine failure caused the plane to spiral to the ground, instantly killing Infante and everyone on board. The bodies of the victims were burned beyond recognition, and Infante’s body was identified through his engraved bracelet and the metal plate in his skull.
The Legacy of Pedro Infante
Despite the controversy and speculation surrounding his death, singer Pedro Infante’s legacy continues to live on. His contribution to the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and his timeless music continue to inspire and touch hearts across generations. The actor’s life and career are celebrated annually on the anniversary of his death, and his fans continue to hold him in high regard.
Whether the conspiracy theories hold any truth or are merely the result of fans’ refusal to accept their idol’s tragic demise remains a mystery. However, there’s no denying that Pedro Infante’s death left an indelible mark on Mexican cinema and music, and his legacy continues to live on, transcending borders and generations.
The Mexican actor was married two times, to Irma Dorantes and Maria Luisa Leon. He left behind five children, Pedro Infante Jr., Lupita Infante, Irma Infante, Graciela Margarita, and Cruz Infante.
The mystery of how did Pedro Infante die remains an intriguing chapter in the annals of Mexican cinema. The official version of events points to a tragic plane crash, while conspiracy theories suggest a hoax. Regardless of the controversy surrounding his death, Pedro Infante’s legacy as an iconic figure of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema continues to inspire and captivate fans worldwide. His timeless music and unforgettable performances have ensured that his memory lives on, immortalized in the hearts of his fans.