Xavier López, a Mexican children's comic better known by his stage name "Chabelo," has died at 88.

The Mexican president wrote in his Twitter account that his own eldest son, José Ramón, "woke up early to see him (on television) more than 40 years ago."

López, who was no relation to the president, usually performed dressed in kid's clothing well into his 80s.  

López was born on 17 February 1935 to Mexican parents in Chicago, Illinois. 

López returned to Mexico with his family at a young age and trained as a doctor. But he found his calling in acting.

The comic's family wrote on his fan page that López "died suddenly on abdominal complications." 

At the age of 18, he was drafted into the US army during the Korean War because of his dual citizenship.

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While he was studying medicine, he also started working part-time as an assistant at the headquarters of the Mexican broadcaster Televisa.

He started to fill in for actors who were late for shows, and on one occasion was asked hto read a joke on air about a boy named Chabelo.

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In the 1950s, his character became one of the faces of soft drink brand Pepsi.