Thanksgiving weekend brought sad news for Julio Oscar Mechoso's family, friends, and fans.
The longtime character actor died Saturday, Nov. 25 at the age of 62 after suffering a massive heart attack, according to Variety. Mechoso had enjoyed a lengthy career with roles in a variety of films, including hits like "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Bad Boys." He had also appeared in some of TV's most popular shows over the years, from "Seinfeld" to "The Big Bang Theory" to "Grey's Anatomy."Two of Mechoso's former onscreen children mourned his loss with touching social media posts. Gabriel Luna wrote that his "Matador" TV dad was "an artist supreme" and "a powerful performer with a raw and open heart."
Julio Oscar Mechoso was an artist supreme. I loved this man. I met him when he played my dad in Matador, and a couple years later he came in and saved the day when I called him to help us out in Transpecos. He was a powerful performer with a raw and open heart. He'd break into these amazing rants before a scene and have decades of the character's history spill out his mind and his mouth and then right into the work. He could be so fierce in one moment, and turn on the waterworks in the next and have tears in his eyes that make you want to hug him. He was incredible. I'll miss him and his occasional calls to check on me. My love goes out to his wife and children. I love you, Jefe. Rest In Peace.
Isabella Gomez, another member of their "Matador" family, tweeted a poignant tribute of her own, writing that her "heart feels so so heavy."
Just got the news that Julio Oscar Mechoso passed away and my heart feels so so heavy. He was my first TV dad and an actor I've looked up to since. Papito, gracias por ser un amor de persona conmigo y todos alrededor. Ya nos haces falta. pic.twitter.com/SocpDUcwLh— Isabella Gomez (@Chavelua) November 27, 2017
Mechoso's frequent co-star Andy Garcia, who had been friends with him since college, shared a statement full of beautiful reflections. He wrote, in part (via the Miami Herald):
Julio cherished the work of an actor. He treated it with great respect. He honored it. He was fearless and experimental. Always living and searching for the absolute truth. He was proud to be an actor, But he was most proud of his family. The love of his life Linda, what a beautiful relationship they shared, And the pride and love he had for his three children, Melinda, JJ and CJ was a marvel.
Mechoso will be missed, but as Garcia wrote, "his artistry will carry on."