By Jan Pippins and Henry Darrow
Biography of a Latino TV Trailblazer
Published by Bear Manor Books, $24.95
When talking about iconic Latino actors there is one actor that stands out among the best, and that is a New York born actor of Puerto Rican heritage who became a beloved character in one of television’s biggest western. We can only be talking about el gran Don Henry Darrow.
Veteran actor Henry Darrow (born Enrique Tomas Delgado) was catapulted to international stardom in 1967 as s the masculine complex rogue, “Manolito Montoya” in the classic Television Western, The High Chaparral, which ran on NBC-TV from 1967-1971 and in worldwide syndication.
It was the first series to prominently present a multi- dimensional positive image of a Mexican family alongside an Anglo family in the Post-Civil War frontier of 1860’s Arizona.
The High Chaparral also starred Linda Cristal and Frank Silvera as well as Cameron Mitchell and Leif Erickson. Rudolfo Acosta and Roberto Contreras had featured roles and the show provided many guest star opportunities for such actors as Ricardo Montalban, Marie Gomez, Rudy Ramos and Gilbert Roland.
Though born in New York, Darrow was the first actor of Puerto Rican heritage to star in a TV series. At the height of his fame, Darrow put his career on the line to open doors for other Latinos. He continued to break ground for over fifty years guest starring on such series as Hawaii Five -0, Star Trek: The Next Generations, Resurrection Blvd., and American Family. Among his many accomplishments include being the first Latino actor to play Zorro, winning an Emmy Award for Best Supporting actor in the daytime television drama Santa Barbara, and originating the role of Martinez in Ray Bradbury’s stage adaptation of his own short story, The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.
Film buffs will enjoy this revealing biography about a phenomenal man, his profession and about how events in America during the second half of the twentieth century affected careers, network television and present day Latino actors in Hollywood. The book can be ordered through Bear Manor Media.com or through Amazon.com.
— Luis Reyes