The High Chaparral Actor Henry Darrow Dies at 87: 'An Artist of the Highest Rank'
Character actor Henry Darrow, best known for his role as Manolito Montoya on 1960s Western The High Chaparral, died Sunday at the age of 87.
Darrow's publicist, Michael B. Druxman, announced the news on his Facebook page Monday, writing, "Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed."
Darrow was born Enrique Tomás Delgado Jr. in 1933 in New York City to parents Gloria and Enrique, who ran a restaurant. In his teens, his parents moved the family back to their native Puerto Rico, where Darrow grew up and attended college before heading to Pasadena, California, in 1954, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He appeared in various TV shows and plays prior to being cast in The High Chaparral, which ran on NBC from 1967 through 1971. In a 2015 interview for Richard Armstrong's Classic Film & TV Café website, Darrow recalled the moment when the show's producer David Dortort spotted him during an onstage production of Ray Bradbury's The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.
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"I said, 'I'd like to speak in Spanish and that I would learn Indian sign language,'" he recounted. "I said, 'I'm ready to read for the part.' And David Dortort replied: 'You don't have to. You've got it. You talked us into it.'"
In addition to his role in The High Chaparral, Darrow played police detective Manny Quinlan in the first season of ABC's Harry O in the mid-1970s and received a Daytime Emmy Award in 1990 for his role as Rafael Castillo in NBC soap opera Santa Barbara.
Following the news of his death, 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."
Along with being a longtime SAG-AFTRA member, Darrow co-founded the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee in 1972 alongside fellow actors Ricardo Montalbán, Edith Diaz and Carmen Zapata and was a founder of Nosotros, an organization aimed at helping Latino actors land non-stereotyped parts.
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."