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

By: H&I Staff     Posted: March 15, 2021, 2:51PM

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.