R.I.P. Gerald Castillo of Saved by the Bell
The actor played A.C. Slater's father on the hit sitcom
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A veteran of the stage and screen, Gerald Castillo passed away at age 90, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Castillo is perhaps best remembered for his two-episode stint in Saved by the Bell, where he played Major Slater, father to Mario Lopez's A.C. Castillo brought a much-needed gravitas to the role. His tough, stern military man justified actions and motivations viewers saw in Lopez's ambitious, over-achieving athlete character.
In addition to his time on Saved by the Bell, Castillo appeared on M*A*S*H, Barnaby Jones, and All In the Family. But his army dad role was no fluke; Castillo was frequently cast in authority figure roles. He played Det. Michael Benedict on NBC’s Hill Street Blues in 1987, and Dr. Herrara on CBS’ Knots Landing in 1990. Fans of daytime television will doubtlessly recall Castillo's turn as Judge Davis Wagner on the ABC daytime soap General Hospital from 1992 to '94.
When he wasn't on our living room television sets, Castillo was appearing on the big screen, in movies like Through Naked Eyes (1983), Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987), Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects (1989), Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990), State of Emergency (1994) and Above Suspicion (1995). Throughout his movie career, Castillo often portrayed tough guy characters.
Born in Chicago on Dec. 23, 1932, Gerald Castillo would go on to learn his trade in his hometown's Goodman Theatre throughout the '60s. During a national tour of a stage production with Sherman Hemsley, Castillo was persuaded by his costar to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting full-time. A 1978 episode of The Jeffersons, featuring both actors, was Castillo's onscreen debut.
The news was reported by his wife of 36 years, Dayna Quinn-Castillo. The actor is also survived by his grandchildren, Brian and Stephanie, and great-grandsons Allen and Bernie. Castillo passed away in his Houston home on May 4th, 2023.