Disney fans mourn Coco actress Ana Ofelia Murguìa who died aged 90

Mama Coco voice actor Ana Ofelia Murguía died, aged 90, on New Year's Day (ES Composite)
Mama Coco voice actor Ana Ofelia Murguía died, aged 90, on New Year's Day (ES Composite)

Legendary star Ana Ofelia Murguía, who voiced the titular character of Disney and Pixar film Coco, has died aged 90.

The Mexican actress, who has been a part of many Disney animated movies that have become cult classics, passed away on January 1.

Her death was announced with "great sadness" by Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts and National Theater Company.

"We regret the sensitive death of the leading actress Ana Ofelia Murguía, who was part of the stable cast of the National Theater Company of Mexico, and whose artistic career was vital for the performing arts of Mexico," the organisation added.

Following the announcement, Coco fans took to social media to share their condolences and pay tribute to the Disney legend whose career spanned over 40 years.

"Murguía’s career began in 1968…" tweeted one fan. "She also had roles in television shows such as Mozart in the Jungle, Gregoria la Cucharacha, Tric Trac, and Uroboros."

"It’s disheartening to lose a legend on the first day of 2024,” wrote another, while a third added: "Guess I’m watching Coco and chopping onions to start the new year."

Murguía most famously voiced great-grandmother Mama Coco in the Oscar-winning Disney Pixar animation Coco.

She had a major role in the film, which celebrates Mexican culture, and centres around a Mexican boy who crosses to the Land of the Dead. There he discovers family secrets while trying to become a musician.

One of the movie's most memorable scenes showed Mama Coco and her great-grandson Miguel sing Remember Me together.

Mama Coco in a scene from Pixar’s Coco (Pixar)
Mama Coco in a scene from Pixar’s Coco (Pixar)

The National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature said Murguía's career was "vital for the performing arts of Mexico".

In 2011 Murguía, who was born in Mexico in 1933, won a special lifetime achievement Golden Ariel award for her decades-long career in stage, film and television.

She also bagged the best supporting actress gong at the Ariel awards - a ceremony celebrating top Mexican cinema - in 1979, 1986 and 1996 for films including 1994's La Reina de la Noche (The Queen of the Night), about a female cabaret artist who remakes her career in Mexico after leaving Berlin following an incident with the Nazis.

Her final role was in the 2018 series José José: El Príncipe de la Canción, a fictionalised biopic about the Mexican pop singer.

During her acceptance speech for the Medalla Cátedra Bergman (the Ingmar Bergman chair medal) from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, which she got for her contributions to the industry, Murguía told the audience: "Acting has been the passion of my life.

"I have never worked to collect an award. I have always loved this career, which I found by pure fluke. I’m happy. I feel like a very lucky woman.”