$ 70 million: the mysterious disappearance of Cantinflas’ inheritance that sparked a family war

After Cantinflas died in 1993 from lung cancer, a long dispute began between the heirs to his fortune.

In 1993, when he died Mario Fortino Alfonso Moreno Reyes, popularly known as Cantinflas, left a Fortune estimated between 68 and 70 million dollars. However, your son Mario Arturo Moreno Ivanova denounced that, when he went to claim his inheritance, he found the bank account almost empty. The entity’s executives were unable to explain to him the whereabouts of the money left by his adoptive father, over which he allegedly only had the right. In the middle, he faced off in a court battle with one of his cousins who claimed that the comedian had left him part of his heritage.

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“My dad I had accounts in Spain, Cayman Islands, New York and Mexico, and when he died I went to the banks to report the death to freeze them and make the inventories of the inheritance, but in the balance of Banamex, where I knew there were about 68 or 70 million dollars, we only found 13 thousand new pesos “, Mario counted In an interview.

The actor participated & # xf3; in 39 movies and had 35 property rights, which generated millions over the years

Archive Photos

The actor participated in 39 films and had the property rights to 35, which generated millions over the years (Archive Photos /)

Cantinflas played different roles in the world of cinema from the age of 26. In 1956, he became world famous for his role in Around the World in 80 Days, movie for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor musical comedy. As in 33 other films, Moreno worked on There is the detail (1940), The circus (1943), If I were a deputy (1952), The little father (1965) and The teacher (1971).

The Heritage

In the 1950s, he is believed to have earned around $ 1.5 million per year, a sum that made him the highest paid comedian in the world; stood above Jerry Lewis Y Charlie Chaplin. Apart from his career as an actor and comedian, he was characterized by his entrepreneurial spirit and its philanthropic side: he helped the needy people of his town.

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According to a report by Los Angeles Times, the money he made from his first jobs in the world of cinema invested in numerous business ventures, including two film companies, office buildings, and an 800-hectare bull-breeding establishment on the road that connects Mexico City with Guadalajara.

Apart from his career as an actor, he had an entrepreneurial side and invested & # xf3; in various companies

TV capture

Apart from his career as an actor, he had an entrepreneurial side and invested in several companies (Captura de TV /)

Secondly, The New York Times points out that the actor’s inheritance was made up of several properties, among which was a summer house in an exclusive area of ​​Acapulco (Mexico), valued at US$13 millones in his time; a field of more than 400 hectares known as The purest, in Ixtlahuaca (also in Mexico); and four other houses and apartments. In addition, he owned a chain of hairdressers and beauty salons; a private art collection; a private plane; high-value automobiles and jewelry.


As Cantinflas grew richer through his films, the more he showed his supportive side. In the last years of his career, donated half of his earnings from his projects to various charities. In 1996, it gave US $ 175,000 and helped more than 250 indigent families with low-cost housing so that they could access their own roof.

Cantinflas became known worldwide for the film Around the World in 80 Days, where he starred. with Edmund Lowe, Shirley MacLaine and David Niven

John Springer Collection

Cantinflas became known worldwide for the film Around the World in 80 Days, where he acted with Edmund Lowe, Shirley MacLaine and David Niven (John Springer Collection /)

Although he had left a single heir, according to the will that his son possessed, in the middle there was also a legal dispute over intellectual property rights of his movies. Her nephew Eduardo Moreno Laparade He claimed to have documents that proved that, shortly before his death from lung cancer, Cantinflas had granted him the rights to his films. After more than 20 years of litigation, in 2014, the Supreme Court of Mexico he ruled that, in effect, he was the “successor to the film rights” of his uncle.

Moreno Ivanova was Cantinflas's adopted son

Video capture

Moreno Ivanova was Cantinflas’s adopted son (Video capture /)

Moreno Ivanova died in 2017 of a cardiorespiratory arrest and his father’s legacy passed to Tita Marbez, his wife, from whom he was separated at the time of his death. In early 2020, women declared that the inheritance she received at that time from her husband did not include any property of the iconic actor: she did not know if the house in Acapulco, the La Purísima farm or some other property was originally among Cantinflas’s assets. “When Mario Arturo died They said they had inherited me I don’t know how many millions and I keep looking for them. He did not inherit a single property on land, the apartment where I live my father bought me. When I came to the life of Mario Arturo, he had nowhere to live“, Held.

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During an interview at open television, Moreno Ivanova had said that, throughout his life, he had to sell part of the buildings, among which there were houses, ranches and hotels, in order to survive. The waste of the money raised for intellectual property rights over more than 20 years was also motivated by paying for the services of lawyers to beat his cousin in court. This was also disputed by his cousin Laparade, who alleged that Cantinflas’s fortune was being consumed for no profit.

The hacienda La Pur & # xed; sima located in Ixtlahuaca, Mexico, was sold and today remains open as a hotel that preserves the history of the comedian

Video capture

La Purísima hacienda located in Ixtlahuaca, Mexico, was sold and today remains open as a hotel that preserves the history of the comedian (Video capture /)

“My father’s intellectual property was 35, not 39, the other (films) have another owner. My dad would never have given, given away or donated anything that is not his property. That would have been a fraud. All the money that is generated as a result of the exploitation of the films since 1993 is deposited in a trust in Los Angeles, as of 2002 there were 17 million dollars ”, revealed in 2014 the then heir.

After a war broke out in the family, now it is the children of Moreno Ivanova, Cantinflas’s grandchildren, who add new chapters to the eternal conflict. Marbez became the enemy of Valentina, Mario Y Marisa, who challenged the will that her father left in 2017 and that made her a beneficiary.

We are not going for my dad’s things but for my grandfather’s, and not material or economic things but the sentimental, their image, the rights they have towards the character and things of value, memorabilia, such as their shoes and raincoat, “they once told the local media. In February of this year, it was known that Laparade died from a complication derived from Covid-19, so it is not clear who will now have the rights to the 35 films of the comedian.

She lived on the street and died without knowing that she was heir to a fortune

The assumptions $ 70 million that were in the bank at the time of Cantinflas’s death are still a mystery, since Moreno Ivanova repeatedly maintained that there were only 13,000 new Mexican pesos in the account, but it was never revealed what had finally happened to the rest of his father’s fortune. The latest to be heard about the properties is that the La Purísima hacienda is now a hotel that still preserves the comedian’s legacy and history, while another property, the El Detail ranch, was converted into a restaurant.

El Detail Ranch, one of the cattle businesses that Cantinflas had and is now a restaurant

Video Capture

The El Detail ranch, one of the cattle businesses that Cantinflas had and is now a restaurant (Video Capture /)