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Don Francisco
Born Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld
December 28, 1940 (1940-12-28) (age 69)
Talca, Chile
Occupation Television Personality
Years active 1962-present
Spouse(s) Teresa "Temmy" Muchnik Rosenblum

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



"Don Francisco" was born to Erick Kreutzberger and Anna Blumenfeld Neufeld, German Jewish immigrants who fled to Chile to escape Nazi persecution.[1] As a youth, he traveled to New York to study to be a tailor, but he spent most of the time watching TV.[citation needed] Back in Chile, where TV was just beginning, "Don Francisco" started a TV show in 1962, and he named it Sábados Gigantes. In it, he adapted many of the formulas he had seen in American TV to the Chilean public. The show became an instant hit that has lasted over 40 years. In 1986, the show began to be produced in Miami, Florida, with the same formula used in Chile, with the slightly different name of Sábado Gigante. "Don Francisco" immediately became a household name among Hispanic families across the United States, and in the following six years Kreutzberger developed a three hour long variety show, including contests, comedy, interviews and a traveling camera section. The traveling camera, or Cámara Viajera (originally La Película Extranjera, The Foreign Movie), has taken "Don Francisco" to over 185 countries worldwide, many of them more than once.

Kreutzberger in his show has interviewed many celebrities, including Roberto Durán, Cristina Saralegui, Sussan Taunton, Charytin and many others. In addition, his show has launched the careers of famous entertainers, such as Sissi and numerous more.

In September 1991, Kreutzberger introduced a new show on Wednesday at 10 pm on Univision called "Noches de Gigantes". It ran until September 1992.

In 1992, Kreutzberger was sued by one of his models for sexual harassment, but the suit was settled out of court.[2] Nowadays, Kreutzberger has stopped flying back and forth between Miami and Chile each week to tape both the Chilean and the international shows and his daughter Vivian is becoming quite popular as the host of the Chilean show. Apparently, having to travel so much between Miami and his home country, plus having to travel to worldwide locations to tape La Cámara Viajera, was becoming too strenuous for him.

Kreutzberger has also hosted a season of the Chilean version of ¿Quién merece ser millonario?, based on the original British format of the international Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise, and Deal or No Deal.

In 2002, Kreutzberger's show completed 40 years, and its host said he has no plans to retire before the day he dies.

On April Fool's Day, 2003, a rumor that Kreutzberger had died surfaced 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]

Currently, Kreutzberger hosts two weekly shows on Univision: his normal stint of Sábado Gigante on Saturdays, and Don Francisco Presenta (Don Francisco Presents), a more serious interview-only show on a par with Cristina Saralegui's offering, on Wednesdays.

He also promotes and hosts the Teletón, a televised benefit 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 the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, to appeal to Hispanics to donate.

Celebrity advertising

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

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Larry Rohter, New York Times, June 2, 2002, "Television/Radio; For 100 Million, He Is Saturday Night" [1]
  3. ^ Lee Alan Hill. "Giant of Spanish TV First in U.S. Production." Television Week, 30 May 2005, p. 26

External links

on Saturday January 22, 2010 he hosted a show for Haiti relief

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