Mario Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, Don Francisco

Happy Birthday to Mario Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, affectionately known as Don Francisco, the beloved host of the wildly successful television program, “Sabado Gigante” (“Giant Saturday”).  Kreutzberger was born in Santiago, Chile, on December 28, 1940.  Kreutzberger’s parents fled from Germany in the 1930s; with their Jewish heritage, they were threatened by the Nazi regime.  Kreutzberger’s mother was a singer and encouraged the shy young man to become an entertainer. But it was not until a stay in New York City — when Kreutzberger discovered the phenomena of television — that he found his true calling. In 1962, “Sabado Gigante” debuted as an eight hour variety show. Univision moved the show to the US, where its viewership grew to a delighted, laughing audience of more than 100 million people in 30 countries.

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