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Don Francisco (television host)

Don Francisco
Born Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld
(1940-12-28) December 28, 1940
Talca, Chile
Residence Miami, Florida
Nationality Chilean and American
Other names Don Francisco
Citizenship Chile
Occupation Television host
Years active 1962–present
Home town Santiago, Chile
Television Sábado Gigante,
Don Francisco Presenta
Religion Jewish
Spouse(s) Teresa "Temmy" Muchnik Rosenblum (1963-present; 3 children)

Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld (born December 28, 1940), better known by his stage name, Don Francisco, is a Chilean television host, and a popular personality on the Univision network reaching Spanish-speaking viewers in the United States. He is best known for hosting the former variety shows Sábado Gigante and Don Francisco Presenta.


  • Biography 1
  • Career 2
  • Television career 3
  • False death reports 4
  • Personal Life 5
  • Honors 6
  • Celebrity advertising 7
  • Lawsuit 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Don Francisco was born in Talca, Chile, to Erick Kreutzberger and Anna Blumenfeld Neufeld, German Jewish immigrants who fled to Chile to escape Nazi persecution.[1][2]


Francisco started a TV show in 1962, and he named it Sábado Gigante on Barack Obama, Bill Gates and many others. In addition, his show has launched the careers of famous entertainers, such as Lili Estefan, Sissi Fleitas, and numerous more. Kreutzberger appeared as himself in the movie The 33, about the 2010 Copiapó mining accident.

Television career

Kreutzberger has also hosted Chilean versions of ¿Quién merece ser millonario? (which is based on the original British format of the international Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise), Deal or No Deal, and Atrapa los Millones (which is based on the American format of the international Money Drop franchise). He hosted the first three seasons of Atrapa los Millones before retiring from the program in 2014; Diana Bolocco became the show's new host for the program's fourth season in 2015.

He voiced Governor Bernardo de Galvez in a 2003 episode, "The Great Galvez", of a PBS Kids show Liberty's Kids.

In 2012, Sabado Gigante celebrated 50 years on air.

On April 18, 2015, Don Francisco announced his show will come to an end in September 2015 after 53 years on air.

Sabado Gigante aired its final episode called "Hasta Siempre" on September 19, 2015.

False death reports

On April Fool's Day, 2003, a rumor arose that Kreutzberger had died, the rumor appearing around the New York and New Jersey area. The rumor proved false, but sent many of his fans into a panic until it was revealed as an April Fool's joke.[3]

Personal Life

Kreutzberger promotes and hosts the Teletón, a TV charity show for disabled Chilean children; there have been 22 telethons over 30 years. He is also the Hispanic spokesperson for the US Muscular Dystrophy Association, in which he also appears in a pre-recorded piece on its annual telethon, to appeal to Hispanics to donate.

Kreutzberger was also the first host of the Teletón USA telethon, which was introduced in December 2012 on the Univision network; the event and charity is based on the popular Teleton(Chile) the Chilean Teleton.


His show was in world's longest running TV variety show, according to Guinness World Records.[4]

Kreutzberger has received numerous awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (on 7018 Hollywood Blvd.).[5]

On March 1, 2012, Kreutzberger was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.[6]

On September 8, 2015, the city of New York named a street in the Washington Heights district in honor of Kreutzberger, named "Don Francisco Boulevard".[7]

Celebrity advertising

Don Francisco has been in commercials for La Curaçao Department Stores. He was even present for the opening of La Curaçao's South Gate, California and Arizona locations.

He also appears in TV spots for the Mexican telecom company Claro.

In 2010, the U.S. Social Security Administration enlisted Don Francisco to appear in a series of public service announcements to reach out to American Hispanics about the benefits of Social Security.[8]


In 1992, Kreutzberger was sued by one of his models for sexual harassment, but the suit was settled out of court.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b Larry Rother (2002-06-02). "TELEVISION/RADIO; For 100 Million, He Is Saturday nagas beludasNight".  
  2. ^ Judith W. Rosenthal (2009-08-14). "'"The story of 'Don Francisco. The Jewish State. 
  3. ^ Lee Alan Hill. "Giant of Spanish TV First in U.S. Production." Television Week, 30 May 2005, p. 26
  4. ^ "Longest running TV variety show". Guinness. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Hollywood Hall of Fame: Don Francisco". Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  6. ^ Archive of American Television: Mario Kreutzberger
  7. ^
  8. ^ Latin Trends: "Don Francisco talks about Social Security Benefits Online!"; no date.

External links

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