Gregory Sierra, ‘Sanford and Son’ and ‘Barney Miller’ Star, Dead at 83

by Jon D. B.

“Sanford and Son” star Gregory Sierra has left us after a long, prolific career in acting at 83-years-old.

The Orange Country Health Department has released records that confirm the death of actor Gregory Sierra. According to the release, Sierra died on January 4 in Laguna Woods, California. He was 83.

A native of New York, Sierra rose to fame in roles capitalizing on his charisma and Puerto Rican descent. Known best as neighbor Julio Fuentes on “Sanford and Son,” and as Sgt. Miguel “Chano” Amanguale on “Barney Miller,” Sierra would also go on to star as Lieutenant Lou Rodriguez in “Miami Vice,” as well.

From there, Sierra would grace the big screen, as well. His Hollywood credits include “The Towering Inferno,” “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” and “Vampires.”

Acting Was Gregory Sierra’s Lifelong Passion

Moreover, “Sierra also made a memorable appearance as a radical Jewish vigilante in “Archie Is Branded,” a 1973 episode of CBS’ All in the Family that was one of the sitcom’s most jarring episodes,” THR remembers of the late star. “And he played Carlos “El Puerco” Valdez, a Malaguayan counter-revolutionist who kidnaps Jessica (Katherine Helmond) on ABC’s Soap.”

Even in his later years, acting would remain Sierra’s lifelong passion. Most recently, the actor starred in a local Laguna Woods production of the classic play, “See How They Run.”

“Any role is demanding if you put yourself through a process,” Sierra told the Orange County Register of his role in 2009. “Because you expect something of yourself.”

Gregory Sierra leaves his wife Helene behind, alongside his extended family and friends left grieving. Our condolences from everyone here at during this difficult time.

Sierra’s passing comes on the heels of several tragic deaths early in 2021. So far, we’ve lost Mila Furan, former Packers star Ted Thompson, and legendary singer-songwriter Hugh X. Lewis, among many others.

Just today, Hank Aaron, MLB Icon and Home Run King, was announced to have passed at 86.

[Source: Variety]