Henry Darrow, star of TV's 'The High Chaparral,' Dies at Age 87

Screengrab via YouTube

Henry Darrow, the Western TV star best known as The High Chaparral character Manolito Montoya, died from natural causes on Sunday (March 14). The Wilmington, North Carolina resident was 87 years old.

Darrow (born Enrique Tomas Delgado) was born in New York City and spent his teenage years in Puerto Rico.

He moved to Los Angeles as a young man to chase Hollywood stardom. A role in the play The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit caught the attention of television producer David Dortort, positioning Darrow for his 1967-'71 run on NBC's The High Chaparral.

Darrow's character appeared in every episode of The High Chaparral, sharing screen time with co-stars Linda Cristal, Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell.

Both before and after The High Chaparral, Darrow guest-starred in some of the greatest Western series of their time, including Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Wagon Train and The Wild Wild West.

Darrow also made history as the first Latino actor to play Zorro (Don Diego de la Vega) on television. He debuted as the character in the CBS sitcom Zorro and Son (1983) and would reprise the role as a voice actor in '80s animated series The New Adventures of Zorro and as Zorro's father (replacing Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) in the Family Channel's popular television series from the '90s, The New Zorro.

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His third claim to fame was soap operas. Barrow's acting chops and handsome face made him ideal for both daytime (General Hospital, One Life to Live, The Bold and the Beautiful) and primetime (Dynasty, Dallas) series. He won a daytime Emmy for his role as Rafael Castillo in Santa Barbara.

Other noteworthy roles for Darrow came in such films as The Hitcher, The Glass Cage, Summer and Smoke, St. Helens, Runaway Jury, Soda Springs and Maverick and the popular TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Harry O , TJ Hooker and The New Dick Van Dyke Show.

Survivors include Darrow's second wife, Lauren Levinson.


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Henry Darrow, star of TV's 'The High Chaparral,' Dies at Age 87