Henry Darrow, ‘Excessive Chaparral’ actor who fought to develop roles for Latinos, dies

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Emmy Award-winning actor Henry Darrow, greatest often known as Manolito Montoya within the hit Western “The Excessive Chaparral” and because the first Latino to play the dashing Zorro on tv, has died at his dwelling in North Carolina at age 87.

His former publicist Michael B. Druxman introduced Darrow’s March 14 dying on Fb, saying the actor had died of pure causes. “Relaxation in peace my good friend,” Druxman wrote, “you can be missed.”

There have been a number of tributes to Darrow on social media, together with one from Robert Beltran, who labored with the veteran actor when Darrow guest-starred in 1995 and 1996 as his father on “Star Trek: Voyager.” “How thrilled I used to be to behave with him. He was a gentleman and an artist of the very best rank. His mental curiosity, his beneficiant spirit, his joyfulness, had been his nice attributes. All younger actors ought to examine Henry (as I did) and be taught.”

The Display screen Actors Guild additionally celebrated Darrow: “We honor the profession and achievements of Henry Darrow, the satisfaction of Puerto Rico and SAG board member from 1970-73.”

Past being an actor, Darrow was an activist who labored to develop the roles supplied to Latinos on display screen. In 1972, Darrow, Ricardo Montalban, Carmen Zapata and Edith Diaz based the Display screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee. Darrow was additionally a vice chairman of Nostros, the group based by Montalban to assist Latino actors be forged in non-stereotypical roles. And in 2012, he obtained the Ricardo Montalban Lifetime Achievement Award on the ALMA Awards.

His character Manolito was undoubtedly a non-stereotypical Latino, Luis Reyes, co-author of “Hispanics in Hollywood” advised the Los Angeles Instances in 2012.

“We felt proud,” he famous. “His character was so sturdy. His character of Manolito, particularly within the pilot, comes off at first as your typical Latino-stereotypical bandito, however through the course of the pilot [you discover] this man isn’t a bandito however the son of a rich land baron who’s principally looking for his personal identification in his personal manner.”

Darrow additionally discovered himself a teen dream with the 16 and Tiger Beat journal set. “I appealed to the extra mature 12- to 14-year-olds,” Darrow joked in a 2012 Instances interview.

His enchantment was additionally worldwide. Darrow recalled a publicity tour in Sweden through the run of the sequence. “I obtained collectively a guitarist and labored on a 25-minute act,” he mentioned. “I realized just a few phrases of Swedish. I had about 17,200 folks on closing night time. I assumed this was unbelievable.”

Darrow was born Enrique Tomas Delgado Jimenez (he modified his identify within the Sixties to get extra various roles) in New York Metropolis, the son of Puerto Rican immigrants. He explored his cultural roots when he and his household returned to Puerto Rico in 1946.

He was a political science and theater main on the College of Puerto Rico and labored half time as an English-language interpreter. After receiving a scholarship for appearing college, he moved to Los Angeles and educated on the Pasadena Playhouse, the place he met his first spouse, Lucy. That they had two kids, Denise and Tom.

The wedding led to 1979 and three years later he married Lauren Levian.

After visitor starring in varied TV sequence after “Excessive Chaparral” — “Evening Gallery,” “Mission: Not possible” and “Kojak” amongst them — he performed Lt. Manuel “Manny” Quinlan from 1974-75 on the ABC David Janssen detective sequence “Harry O” however was killed off after only one season when the sequence was retooled.

He portrayed the heroic Zorro on CBS’ 1981 animated “The New Adventures of Zorro” and within the 1983 CBS comedy “Zorro and Son.” He additionally portrayed Zorro’s father from 1990-93 on the Household Channel’s “Zorro.”

Darrow joined the forged of NBC daytime drama “Santa Barbara” in 1989 and received an Emmy the next yr for his flip as Rafael Castillo, the daddy of sequence heartthrob Cruz Castillo (A Martinez).

Martinez, who additionally received an Emmy that yr, had lengthy idolized Darrow due to his work as Manolito.

“His power and perception helped to open up my work in ways in which weren’t beforehand imagined,” Martinez mentioned in a 2012 Instances interview. “He not solely confirmed up each morning with the script mastered however typically with a tasty chunk of concepts for enchancment as properly. “

Darrow wrote an autobiography, “Henry Darrow: Lightning in a Bottle,” with Jan Pippins in 2012. He made his remaining movie look that yr in an indie movie known as “Soda Springs.”

King is a former Instances employees author.

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