Henry Darrow of The High Chaparral dies at 87

Henry Darrow, who starred on the Western TV series The High Chaparral in the Sixties and on the soap opera Santa Barbara in the Eighties dies at 87

  • His publicist said the TV actor died on Sunday at the age of 87
  • Darrow’s publicist announced the news on his Facebook page 
  • Henry is best known for his role as Manolito Montoya on The High Chaparral 
  • The show was an American Western set in the 1870s starring Leif Erickson 
  • He also played detective Manny Quinlan in the first season of ABC’s Harry O  
  • In 1990, he won an Emmy award for his role on the NBC soap Santa Barbara 
  • The Screen Actors Guild called the late actor ‘the pride of Puerto Rico’ 
  • The actor was lauded by fans and colleagues as news of his death spread 

Actor Henry Darrow died on Sunday at the age of 87.

Darrow’s publicist, Michael B. Druxman, announced the news on his Facebook page on Monday as he shared: ‘Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed.’

The actor is best known for his role as Manolito Montoya on the late 1960s Western The High Chaparral, an American Western action adventure set in the 1870s starring Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell.

Charming presence: Henry Darrow died on Sunday at the age of 87. The actor is best known for his role as Manolito Montoya on the late 1960s Western The High Chaparral.

Western vibe: The NBC show was a an American Western action adventure set in the 1870s that aired from 1967 until 1971

He also played police detective Manny Quinlan in the first season of ABC’s Harry O in the mid-1970s. The star played Zorro several times: first in the series Zorro and Son and also has provided the voice for the animated series of The New Adventures of Zorro. He replaced Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Zorro’s father from 1990 to 1994, in The New Zorro. 

Later he starred on the soap opera Santa Barbara in the 1980s, for which he won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1990. He played Rafael Castillo.

His career included roles in films such as 1959’s Revenge of the Virgins, 1964’s The Glass Cage, 1973’s Badge 373, 1981’s St. Helens, 2003’s Runaway Jury and Soda Springs in 2012.

He also made appearances on a number of iconic TV shows through the years, including Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible, Mod Squad, Kojak, Baretta, Hawaii Five-O, The Waltons, Dallas, and Star Trek: Voyager.

Another hit: Later he starred on the soap opera Santa Barbara in the Eighties for which he won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1990. He played Rafael Castillo

https://youtube.com/watch?v=R_srGyrZTG4%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1

Stoic: Darrow was seen playing the role of Sweet William in 1973’s Badge 373

He was born in New York City as Enrique Tomás Delgado Jr., but moved to Puerto Rico when he was a teen. Henry stayed until after college and which time he headed to Pasadena, California – which is near Hollywood – to work on acting at the Pasadena Playhouse.

His first big hit was The High Chaparral, which ran on NBC from 1967 through 1971.  

Darrow said he landed the job after Bonanza creator David Dortort saw him in a play of The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit by Ray Bradbury.

‘I said, I’d like to speak in Spanish and that I would learn Indian sign language,’ he told Richard Armstrong’s Classic Film & TV Café website in 2015. I said, I’m ready to read for the part.’

Dortort told him in response, ‘You don’t have to. You’ve got it. You talked us into it.’

Legacy: Darrow accepted the Ricardo Montalban Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards in Pasadena, California

Still dashing at an older age: Here he poses for a portrait during the 2008 CineVegas film festival held at the Palms Casino Resort in 2008 in Las Vegas

Steady: Darrow appeared alongside Silvana Gallardo on the late 80s show Easy Street

Stalwart: Darrow portrayed Zorro’s father from 1990 to 1994 in The New Zorro 

The way he lived: Darrow and Lauren Darrow arrive at the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in 2012 in Pasadena, California

Darrow in 1957 tried out for the lead role in the ABC show Zorro; while he missed out on the role – Guy Williams played the part – he said that he learned a lot from the audition.

‘I overacted, and I remember the director walking away and then announcing to the rest of the cast and crew, “It looks like we have a Spanish [Lionel] Barrymore on our hands,”‘ he told Jeremy Roberts in 2016. ‘I thought, “Oh boy!” I wrote my mother and she replied, “Honey, I thought Barrymore was a ham.” So, I learned to do less.’

In 2012, he released his memoir Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle, and was presented at the ALMA Awards with the Ricardo Montalban Lifetime Achievement Award, after working with Montalban in 1970 to create the Nosotros Organization, aimed at boosting Latinos in Hollywood. 

The Screen Actors Guild called the late actor ‘the pride of Puerto Rico.’

‘We honor the career and achievements of Henry Darrow, the pride of Puerto Rico and a SAG Board member from 1970-73,’ the organization wrote on Twitter. ‘Our condolences go out to his family. #sagaftramember since 1958.’ 

Well-remembered: The actor was lauded by fans and colleagues as news of his death spread 

Robert Beltran, who acted alongside Darrow, called him ‘an artist of the highest rank’ in a Twitter tribute Tuesday.

‘The great Henry Darrow has died. How thrilled I was to act with him,’ he wrote. ‘He was a gentleman and an artist of the highest rank. His intellectual curiosity, his generous spirit, his joyfulness, were his great attributes. All young actors should study Henry (as I did) and learn. Rest H.’ 

Darrow is survived by his second wife, Lauren, daughter Denise and brother Dennis, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

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