On Monday, March 28, renowned Mexican television and film actress Raquel Pankowsky passed away at the age of 69. The news of her demise was first announced by the National Association of Interpreters, Mexico (ANDI).
The organization tweeted:
"@ANDIMexico communicates the death of the performing partner Raquel Pankowsky…To her family and friends, we send our deepest condolences."
Later, radio host Maxine Woodside shared additional details about Pankowsky's demise. The late actress' associates include actor Edgar Verval and comedian Eduardo Spain.
Raquel Pankowsky's potential cause of death
The official cause of Pankowsky's death was not revealed by ANDI or her family. However, on Monday, Todo Para La Mujer radio show host Maxine Woodside shared that the cause of her death was complications from her Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The host also added that the actress was seen carrying her oxygen tank during one of her last projects.
Following news of her demise, many local portals partly backed Woodside's claims, stating that Raquel Pankowsky was a smoker from an early age. Her lifestyle might have advanced her COPD condition. As per multiple local publications, Pankowsky was reportedly in a coma for four days following the complication of her disease in 2019.
According to Excelsior, Pankowsky had been a lifelong smoker and reportedly started smoking when she was 11. In a 2010 interview with Sumedico, Pankowsky spoke about her difficulty in overcoming her cigarette addiction.
"When I was a child, all the actors smoked, you saw the sensual, elegant, big actresses, with their cigarettes on their lips; So with that image I started smoking when I was 11 years old...I always felt a huge fondness for cigarettes, we were predestined."
In the same interview, Raquel Pankowsky revealed that she was warned of developing pulmonary emphysema if she did not quit smoking.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease affects the amount of airflow in the lungs and may obstruct it. This disease is often caused by inhaling gases for a longer period or by smoking regularly for many years, which is the most common cause of COPD in non-industrial workers. COPD often causes additional complications like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which becomes the primary cause of death for patients suffering from the disease.
Exploring the legacy of the late Raquel Pankowsky
Pankowsky began acting in high school and later went to the National Association of Actors (ANDA) to formally study the art. The actress forayed into working in her teens around 1970s. According to IMDb, one of her first roles was in 1978's La plaza de Puerto Santo.
Following many brief TV roles and films, Pankowsky was cast in Camila, where she portrayed Gloria in 90 episodes from 1998 to 1999. She was best known for playing Mexico's former First Lady Marta Sahagún, wife of former Mexican President Vicente Fox, in 2005's El Privilegio de Mandar. As per IMDb, Pankowsky appeared in over 61 projects throughout her acting career, spanning almost half a century.