His elegant appearance, his sense of humor and his catchy phrases made of him the ladies man of Mexico. But aside from his roguish image there was another man hiding behind of the shadow of Mauricio Garcés.
“I remember Mauricio as a very charming man,” recalled Mexican actress, Silvia Pinal during an interview in December 2011. Indeed, Mauricio Ferez Yasbeck was a man who was known for catching people’s attention. Although was rather shy, his pleasant attitude opened doors to the entertainment business.
Since the moment his uncle, Tufic Yasbek introduced him to the movie business, the camera seemed to fall in love with Mauricio who, as a marketing strategy, changed his last name to Garcés. There was a slightly superstitious motive behind this decision as he believed that the letter G would propel him to the same levels of stardom as idols Gary Cooper and Clark Gable.
It seems to have worked too. Though he was already well known for his acting, his most remarkable character was the ‘silver fox’-type Casanova named Mauricio Galán, who used to waste his time trying to win over the ladies.
“My mission in life is to keep the ladies happy. If I still haven’t reached you it’s because I haven’t had time. But do not despair, there are many in line.”
Mauricio quickly earned fame as ‘Don Juan’ of sorts. His roguish phrases (“It must be terrible to have me and then lose me”) made him the hero of men and a delight for audiences in general. Though in his movies he was always surrounded by beautiful women, the real life Garcés was a lonely man who had just one lady in his mind… his mom.
“I met her only once, when Mauricio and I were filming a movie,” said the Mexican actress Norma Lazareno. “He was just lovely with her. Before she arrived to the set, Mauricio told me: This scene has to be very well because my mom is going to see me.”
After the death of his father, Mauricio bought a big house in Mexico City for his mother and moved in with her. He never got married, although he used to say that the love of his life was Silvia Pinal. He never held any public relationship which led to some people speculating about him being gay. In fact, he was the first actor to play a gay character in Rene Cardona Jr’s movie ‘Modisto de Señoras’.
“The money is for play and what’s left over is for eating,” Mauricio told to Enrique Rocha on a TV interview. Unfortanally, his weakness for gambling led to him losing almost every cent of his fortune. By the time of his death in 1989 he had nothing, and even some people said that close friends of his had to pay for his memorial.
In spite of it all, Garcés is still remembered and honored as an emblematic character of Mexican pop culture. “A woman who is beautiful in spirit makes us open our eyes to life, even if we are blind from birth.”