Henry Darrow, the first Hispanic actor to play Zorro on television, died on Sunday (March 14). He was 87 years old. He died in Wilmington, North Carolina.
According to IMDb.com, Darrow’s given name at birth was Enrique Tomás Delgado. He was born on Sept. 15, 1933, in New York City. It was during the 1960s that the actor was viewed as “THE ultimate Latin heartthrob on television.”
As a youngster, Henry Darrow’s father decided to move the family back to Puerto Rico. He went to college in Puerto Rico and studied at the University of Rio Piedras. There he focused his efforts on theater and political science. He later worked as an interpreter because he was fluent in two languages.
Darrow eventually returned to the United States. Scholarships from the University of Puerto Rico and The Little Theater of Puerto Rico helped him get back to America. He would go on to learn his bachelor’s degree.
He continued his acting training in 1954 at the Pasadena Playhouse. This helped him both professionally and personally. It was there that he met Lucy, the woman who would become his first wife, according to IMDb.com. They would have two children together but would divorce in 1979. Darrow married Lauren Levinson in 1982.
In the coming years, Henry Darrow started to look for work as a professional actor. His first time on screen came in “Holiday for Lovers” in 1959. It was an unbilled role.
It would be on television where Darrow would find the most success. He went on to have roles on many western television shows. These included “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” “Wagon Train,” and “Daniel Boone.” Even though he was getting steady work on television, it would be a role in a play that would really move his career forward.
Henry Darrow Gets Cast in ‘The High Chaparral’ After Producer Sees Him on Stage
The year was 1965 and Henry Darrow was working in the play “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.” The show was staged at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles. It was during this show that David Dortort, a television producer saw Darrow. Dortort thought that Darrow was an ideal actor for “The High Chaparral,” according to IMDb.com.
The show followed the Cannon family living during the 1870s. They operated the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory. It aired from 1967 until 1971. You can watch the credits for “High Chaparral” below.
According to HollywoodReporter.com, Henry Darrow worked on the series “Harry O” from 1974 until 1976. He played Manny Quinlan, a detective in San Diego. He later played Rafael Castillo on “Santa Barbara.” His work on this show earned him a Daytime Emmy award.
His chance to play the famous character Zorro came during the 1980s, according to HollywoodReporter.com. In 1981, Darrow was the voice of Zorro in “The New Adventures of Zorro” cartoon. In 1983, he played Don Diego de la Vega on the show “Zorro and Son.” He also played the father of Zorro on another show from 1990 until 1993.
Henry Darrow shared details of his life in the memoir he released in 2012. That book was titled “Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle.”