Andrés García, Mexican telenovela actor, dies at 81 after liver illness: 'You are in a better place now'

Mexican actor Andrés García died Tuesday at the age of 81 as a result of liver cirrhosis that was diagnosed a year ago.

Mexican singer and actress Anahí confirmed the news on Twitter by writing a heartfelt message saying goodbye to the actor, who had a great friendship with her and a father-daughter-type affection.

"I can't find the words," Anahí wrote in Spanish. "I thank God for giving me the gift of your kindness. I know you are in a better place now. I will love you and remember you all my life with all my heart, my beloved Andrés."

In recent days, García's health had weakened, for which his wife Margarita Portillo requested prayers for him. The actor ate very little in recent weeks and could no longer walk because the disease had weakened him and left him bedridden.

"I remained by his side taking care of him and loving him until his last breath," Portillo wrote in Spanish on Instagram Tuesday. "He left in peace and in a manner that I thank God for."

García was born on May 24, 1941, in the Dominican Republic before his family emigrated to Mexico and settled in Acapulco.

While working on a boat in Acapulco, the actor was discovered by film producers, who invited him to participate in the film "Chanoc" when he was 25 years old. His gallantry made an impact in show business in the 1960s.

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Andrés García poses backstage at the 2005 Billboard Latin Music Awards on April 28, 2005, in Miami, Florida.

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García had three children, Leonardo García and Andrés García (with then-wife Sandra Vale), as well as Andrea García, whom he had with actress María Fernanda Ampudia.

He also was married to actress Sonia Infante throughout the 1980s, later divorcing her after a little over a decade of marriage.

Mexican actress Lucía Méndez paid tribute to the late actor in a tweet Tuesday.

"Rest in peace #andrésgarcía," Méndez wrote in Spanish. "Our prayers are with you and your family. A great actor, great friend has passed, but our affection will be with you today and always."

In cinema, the actor stood out in more than 50 films, including "Pedro Navajas," "La Última Noche," "Toña Machetes," "Tintorera," "Hermelinda Linda," "El día de los Asesinos," "Carlos el Terrorista” and “Nora la Rebelde,” among many others.

On television, García worked on telenovelas such as "El Privilegio de Amar," "Mujeres Engañadas," "Con Toda el Alma" and "El Cuerpo del Deseo."

García was involved in several controversies in his life, including challenging longtime friend Roberto Palazuelos to a gun duel after claiming the fellow actor had allegedly threatened one of Garcia's children. Palazuelos rejected the duel out of respect for García.

On his YouTube channel, García allegedly threatened journalist Anabel Hernández for claiming he was friends with drug traffickers in her book "Emma y las Otras Señoras del Narco" (Emma and Other Narco Women). The author filed a complaint with the Special Prosecutor's Office for Attention to Crimes Committed Against Freedom of Expression in the Attorney General's Office of the Republic.

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Contributing: Edward Segarra, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Andres Garcia dead at 81: Mexican telenovela actor had liver cirrhosis