Best Spanish-Language TV Personality (2011)

Don Francisco

Don Francisco has been in the business so long that his life is slowly transmogrifying into a daytime variety show. At the age of 70 — when most South Floridians have retired and taken to wandering around the mall food court — the Chilean talk-show host was recently hit with a paternity suit by 43-year-old Patricio Flores Mundaca, who claimed his mother once had an affair with The Don while she was working as a hotel maid. To make matters juicier, Francisco was allegedly caught bribing a biochemist to alter the paternity test. But after 49 years at the helm of Sábado Gigante — Univision's irrepressible and unapologetic pastiche of buxom models, weepy interviews, and dancing dwarfs — the king of kitsch can be forgiven for a few transgressions. Besides, he looks great. If Charlie Sheen has tiger blood, Don Francisco's bodily fluid comprises dragon DNA and Johnny Walker Black. Since bringing his show to Miami in 1986, he continues to strut around the stage like an ultratan AARP avenger in impeccably tailored suits. Born Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld in Talca, Chile, while World War II was just getting underway, Don Francisco is the epitome of an entertainer. His latest foibles only make the man behind the tan mask all that more human.


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