Luis Vigoreaux : biography
Luis Vigoreaux Rivera (April 12, 1929 – January 17, 1983) was a Puerto Rican radio and television show host, announcer, comedian and producer. Vigoreaux was considered a pioneer in the television business in Puerto Rico, and enjoyed success with several radio and television shows throughout his career.
Vigoreaux was brutally murdered on January 17, 1983. His wife, Lydia Echevarría, was convicted of the planification of the murder, along with two hitmen.
Vigoreaux was born on April 12, 1929 in the Chupacallos ward of Ceiba, Puerto Rico. He was one of the eight children of Eulalia and Enrique Vigoreaux, a sugarcane worker at Fajardo Sugar Company. His father died when he was young, forcing Eulalia to take charge of the family. When Vigoreaux was 14 years old, they moved to San Juan, specifically Río Piedras. Vigoreaux studied at the Vila Mayo High School.
As a teenager, Vigoreaux found work in a radio station named WIAC-FM, which was managed by Tomás Muñiz (father of Tommy Muñiz). There, Vigoreaux worked on a show called Alma Estudiantil. With the beginning of World War II, most of the professional hosts were enlisted for war, which led to Vigoreaux having the opportunity to work at the station.
During that period, Vigoreaux worked in various areas of entertainment and show business. He served as host, presenter, commentator, among other jobs. He also became the spokesperson for Sello Rojo rice in Puerto Rico, which he did for 30 years.
Vigoreaux was married twice. He married Rosaura Lorenzana, with whom he had two sons, Luisito and Roberto Vigoreaux. Luisito has followed his father’s footsteps as an actor, comedian, producer, and host. Roberto also worked as an actor, host, producer, and singer. He also served as a member of the Senate of Puerto Rico.
In 1958, Vigoreaux met actress Lydia Echevarría, while still married to his first wife. After divorcing, they married on February 10, 1960. He and Echevarria had two daughters, Vanessa and Glendalys Vigoreaux. Glendalys committed suicide on July 15, 2008.
First years in comedy
Vigoreaux joined Ramón Rivero "Diplo" and José Luis Torregrosa for the radio comedy El Tremendo Hotel. This radio slot enjoyed a large audience for years, and Vigoreaux continued to work as a comedian.
Between 1954 and 1955, he joined fellow comedian José Miguel Agrelot in a theater show that took them to many Latin American communities in the United States. The theater show eventually led to a radio program named Torito and Company, after Torito, the character that Agrelot played. Vigoreaux himself played the character of Don Toribio.
Success in television
The Vigoreaux family became one of the most famous families in Puerto Rico. Some even referred to the Vigoreaux-Echevarria couple as the Lucy and Desi of Puerto Rico, in reference to the marriage of American comedians Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
In 1970, Vigoreaux developed a game show named Sube Nene, Sube. It was hosted by Vigoreaux and Echevarria, and it became one of the most seen shows in Puerto Rican television history. Due to this success, WAPA-TV asked Vigoreaux to produce and host a few more game shows. Vigoreaux responded by creating Pa’rriba, Papi, Pa’rriba!! (which was a variation of Sube Nene) and Dale que Dale en Domingo.
With the production and hosting of all those shows at the same time, the Vigoreaux family opened a studio, which they named Estudio CVC. They were also responsible for the transmission of the MDA television marathon in Puerto Rico.
Arrival of television
With the arrival of television to Puerto Rico in 1954, Vigoreaux began his transition hosting a show called El Show Libby’s, sponsored by the company of the same name. He then hosted the show El tren de la alegría.
Vigoreaux later moved to WAPA-TV, motivated by the possibility of working with actor Mario Pabón. They wrote the story for a soap opera, but the project fell through. However, Vigoreaux moved on when he and his second wife, Lydia Echevarria, began hosting the show named La Hora Cero. The show presented many local and international singers, including Celia Cruz, José Feliciano and Marco Antonio Muñiz.