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Man who played Colombian coffee’s Juan Valdez dies at 83

Carlos Sanchez, who for decades played the character Juan Valdez in a series of legendary Colombian coffee TV commercials, has died, according to reports Thursday. Sanchez passed away at age 83 in late December of undisclosed causes in the city of Medellin, the New York Times said. He made the humble coffee farmer character Juan Valdez into one of the most successful fictional characters in advertising history since he first started playing him in 1969. The character was created by a New York advertising exec and helped soften the image of Colombia — which dealt with a decades-long military insurgency and brutal drug cartels — to an American audience. In his commercials, Sanchez wore a wide-brimmed hat as he harvested coffee bean ...
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