R.I.P. Henry Darrow, star of 'The High Chaparral'

He later became the first Latino actor to play Zorro on television.

The Everett Collection

Born Enrique Tomás Delgado Jiménez, Henry Darrow spent his earliest years in New York City before his family relocated to Puerto Rico just as he became a teenager. At the University of Puerto Rico, Darrow studied political science and acting — and the latter won out.

After earning a scholarship for acting and graduating, Darrow moved like so many aspiring performers to Los Angeles in the 1950s. By the end of the decade, his stage work had garnered enough attention for him to land television roles.

His first credited small-screen role came on Wagon Train, in "The Stagecoach Story," though the actor was billed as "Henry Delgado" in that episode. He was a constant presence on Westerns throughout the early 1960s, albeit in bit guest roles on series such as Gunsmoke, The Wild Wild West and Bonanza.

Then, in 1967, David Dortort, creator of Bonanza, gave Darrow his big break, casting him as Manolito Montoya on The High Chaparral. His character, the brother of Victoria (Linda Cristal), appeared in every episode in the show's four seasons, alongside Leif Erickson (Big John Cannon) and Cameron Mitchell (Buck Cannon).

Darrow's next major role came on the acclaimed detective series Harry O, the comeback vehicle for former Fugitive star David Janssen. The show also happened to feature an up-and-comer named Farrah Fawcett in her pre-Angels days. Darrow portrayed Lt. Manny Quinlan in the first season, which was set in San Diego. The location changed to L.A. in season two due to production costs and Quinlan was killed off. But Darrow was far from done.

In 1990, Darrow became the first Latino actor to portray Zorro on TV, starring in Zorro and Son, the Disney-produced reboot of the swashbuckling legend. Darrow also voiced Zorro in the 1981 cartoon series The New Adventures of Zorro.

The year 1990 was a memorable one for Darrow, as he also won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on the soap opera Santa Barbara.

On March 15, Darrow died in his home in North Carolina, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 87.

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RobertM 34 months ago
He also appeared once as a burglar on "Kojak".
firemandk 38 months ago
Great Actor ... I always got the feeling he was a great person in real life also ....rip
BenSchockley 40 months ago
Saturday the 20th, I was watching an episode of Wonder Woman with Roy Rogers and Henry Darrow. I remembered Darrow from High Chaparral. I started wondering how old Darrow was, and if he was still alive. Out of curiosity, I googled him and was disappointed to find out that he passed away on the 15th. RIP Henry Darrow.
Herbert 40 months ago
I will miss Henry darrow he was so cool in high chapperail!
Tresix 40 months ago
What a world we live in where it takes 70 years for a Latino to play a character that is actually Latino! I guess next they’ll have a dog play Lassie. I also remember Darrow in the “Night Gallery” episode “Cool Air” based off of the HP Lovecraft story of the same title.
PortelaJ 40 months ago
Coincidentally (?) he’s on today’s episode of Gunsmoke “The Hanging” season 12 episode 15. What a treat. You go Henry! Have a safe weekend MeTV gang.
Robertp 40 months ago
Will miss his work. Really liked Mono, and he was excellent on the Golden Girls. Just good clean fun.
JAMESWEST66 40 months ago
I like him when he was on The Wild Wild West !!!
MissClassicTV 40 months ago
I loved him as Manny in Harry O. He worked really well with the lead David Janssen and with an actor named Tom Atkins. I miss my 70s TV shows. I wish MeTV would show Harry O. I’d watch for sure.
ROCKFORD FILES got all the pub that season ('74) but I always preferred HARRY O. Darrow was great on it and I was sorry when he was killed off, but Anthony Zerbe was a terrific replacement.
Wow, two HIGH CHAPARREL (a very underrated western) actors dying around the same time.
MikefromJersey 40 months ago
When I was a kid by favorite TV characters were Cisco Kid(rerun early Sat. mornings on channel 5 in NYC), Zorro and Manalito Montoya. In the movies, Gilbert Roland westerns.
I always admired how Mexican heroes conducted themselves and the culture as well.
Yes, I understand that was thru a Hollywood lens, but still.
Robin MikefromJersey 40 months ago
I always loved the banter between him and his dad, Don Sebastian (Frank Silvera) on the High Chapparal. We would sit there and have a good laugh!
Deb 40 months ago
Met him several years ago through a friend. He was so gracious and charming. May he rest in peace.
MarkSpeck 40 months ago
His character on Harry O wasn't in the second season. Darrow appeared in the first 14 episodes, which were set in and filmed in San Diego. ABC and Warner Bros. felt that the weak ratings didn't justify the cost of filming in S.D., so the decision was made to move the series and setting to L.A., which meant that Harry needed a new police contact, and Anthony Zerbe was brought in as Lt. Trench.

However, it wasn't the end of Darrow's character, Lt. Manny Quinlan...they brought him back for the episode "Elegy For a Cop", in which Manny travels to L.A. in search of his missing niece, only to wind up getting killed.
JamesCavender 40 months ago
Sorry to hear that. He was great in all shows but really great in Harry O first season. What a super show to be in. Classic detective. No computers just hard pavement work. Have on DVD's. RIP.
Hey MeTV!
Greathera 40 months ago
He also played Fidel Santiago on the Golden Girls.
1Grandmaloraine 40 months ago
As much as I liked Henry Darrow's work on TV, he was not the first actor to play Zorro. The first TV Zorro was Guy Williams, AKA Armando Catalon, who played Zorro from 1957 to 1961. Could you please correct your information? Thanks.
MaryMitch 1Grandmaloraine 40 months ago
The article says "the first Latino actor to portray Zorro on TV." According to Wikipedia, Guy's parents were Italian (from Sicily).
MikefromJersey MaryMitch 40 months ago
Strictly speaking, how can you deny Italians their Latin heritage. They are the senior branch
on the Latin tree, as it were. I understand "Latino" indicates Spanish heritage, but in the end,
it all traces back to the culture of Italy.
PortelaJ 40 months ago
Gracias por las memorias. Que descanse en paz amigo Boriqueño. Vaya con Dios.
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