post Lightning in a Bottle, Henry Darrow Biography Excerpt Available Online

June 7th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 6:02 pm

An excerpt of the work in progress Henry Darrow biography Lightning in a Bottle, by Jan Pippins and Henry Darrow is now available. To read this new piece, visit While you’re there, sign up for the mailing list, so you’ll get news and be informed when the book is published.

Audio sound files of interviews with Henry are available on the website too, so you can listen to Henry at

post Darrow Dazzles in Captivating Classic Musical

June 7th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 6:00 pm

by Jan Pippins

Henry Darrow Biography Lightning in a Bottle

Henry Darrow as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady

Thrilling choreography, talented amateur performers, unforgettable songs and spot-on costuming raised Wilmington’s Opera House Theatre Company 2009 revival of My Fair Lady from competent to captivating.  But much of the show’s appeal rested on the three professionals in lead roles (Dan Morris, Eric Paisley and Henry Darrow).

Morris, who brought On Golden Pond and Glengarry Glen Ross to Broadway, has a long list of credits in theater and film.  His skillful portrayal lent narcissistic, domineering misogynist Henry Higgins charm enough to make him believable as feisty Eliza Doolittle’s Pygmalion.

In contrast, Paisley’s more charitable Colonel Pickering was the requisite officer and gentleman.  A stage and screen veteran, the accomplished Paisley was credible as the kindly aristocrat who shows flower-girl Eliza how to be a lady by treating her as one.

But if Dan Morris and Eric Paisley were the show’s wings, Henry Darrow was rocket-fuel as Alfred P. Doolittle, Eliza’s morally unencumbered father.  Theater-goers mainly familiar with Darrow from his star-turn as Manolito Montoya on TV Western The High Chaparral or starring roles in several versions of Zorro might have been puzzled to find him playing a Cockney dustman in a musical.  But theater is the versatile Emmy-winner’s first home.  When he belted out “With a Little Bit of Luck” and “Get Me to the Church on Time”, it was the best of Broadway.  Whether acting, singing or dancing, he radiated a glorious, unadulterated joy that transcended mere command of the stage.

Says screenwriter Richard Leder, “He has that quality where the audience must love him.  I have worked with a lot of great actors who command the stage, but that is different than falling in love.  It is very rare where the audience has no choice. He walks out, he starts talking and you fall in love.”

Darrow’s innate ability to woo the audience is rivaled by his innovation when fellow performers have the prowess to enjoy and incorporate it.  Morris and Paisley did and they were delighted.  “He sort of stole everything he was in,” says Morris, laughing. “We just had a ball with him.  He was always doing something that’s a little bit different.  That experience of making it fresh every night was wonderful.”

“Henry is probably one of the most inventive actors I’ve come across,” says Paisley.  “He never takes the safe routes.  He is a consummate pro, but you never know what the hell he’s going to do!”  Paisley notes My Fair Lady’s dialogue is straight from Shaw’s Pygmalion and, “It’s hard to improve on Bernard Shaw’s dialogue. Unless you’re Henry Darrow and he gets away with it!”

Darrow’s adlibs fit the shiftless, shameless Doolittle perfectly.  Other actors picked up one in particular and ran with it.  During the scene where Doolittle visits Higgins, for several performances Darrow’s uninhibited Doolittle gestured for a drink from Higgins’ decanter.  Time and again, Higgins refused.  Then, at the closing matinee, Higgins relented.  Doolittle poured a shot, made an elaborate toast to “the dustman’s friend, the rat” and knocked back his drink only to interrupt Higgins by begging another.  Long after Doolittle’s exit, Higgins called to his housekeeper. Disdainfully plucking Doolittle’s glass from a table, he handed it to her, instructing, “Throw this in the dustbin.”  As if touching diseased tissue, she took it and departed.  It wasn’t Shaw and it wasn’t the play, but artful execution integrated it seamlessly with the script.

Although moments like that required participation from other skilled actors, Richard Leder emphasizes that gifted Darrow elevated the play from being very good to outstanding.  The enthralled audience agreed.  When the curtain came down and Darrow strode onstage to take his bow, a sell-out crowd scrambled to their feet. The applause was deafening.

© Henry Darrow and Jan Pippins 2009. All rights reserved.

post Remembering Phil Rawlins

June 7th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 6:00 pm

The High Chaparral family was saddened by the death of Phil Rawlins on May 29th. Rawlins directed nine HC episodes: A Matter of Vengeance, Mi Casa Su Casa, The Lost Ones, Alliance, The Little Thieves, The Long Shadow, The Guns of Johnny Rondo, No Trouble at All, and Sangre.

Beginning as a stuntman at the age of 18, he worked in such notable productions as Rawhide and Gunsmoke then moved to Production, earning credits in Cheyenne, Bronco, 77 Sunset Strip, F-Troop, Adam 12, High Chaparral, Star Trek, Gremlins I, Coma, and more.

Interview with Phil Rawlins, High Chaparral director

Susan Sukman McCray message

SCVTV interview with High Chaparral director Phil Rawlins

post Don Collier: Follow Your Heart to Reunion

June 7th, 2009

Don Collier

Don Collier

Don Collier, High Chaparral’s ranch foreman Sam Butler, is remembered for many great episodes and scenes – particularly for the episode Follow Your Heart, which featured Sam.

Susan McCray interviewed Don at the 2007 Reunion. This clip from that interview features just one of Don’s great stories out of many that are shared when attending a Reunion.

Listen as Don tells about a time he and Bob Hoy tried to play a joke on Producer Kent McCray… decide who played the joke on who.

Susan Sukman McCray message

post Authorized Henry Darrow Biography Under Way

May 15th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News,Interviews & Articles — admin @ 2:04 pm

by Jan Pippins

Henry Darrow Biography Lightning in a BottleHenry Darrow’s upcoming biography Lightning in a Bottle is the intimate portrait of a professional performer, a slice of show-business history, a short-course on acting technique and a lesson in surviving Hollywood fame. It is a joint project. Darrow’s ongoing involvement ensures the book’s accuracy and infuses it with his own distinctive spark.

Best known for his portrayal of sexy, complex Manolito Montoya in The High Chaparral, Darrow has been a working actor for over fifty years. He considers himself primarily a character actor, but his stage and screen career spans dramas, comedies, musicals, romances and adventures, encompassing bit-parts and award-winning performances. His talent, charisma, integrity and intense dedication to his craft have sustained him in a profession not known for longevity.

One of the first Hispanic actors to achieve prominence in non-stereotypical roles, he opened doors for those who came later through both his career and as one of the founding members of Nosotros, an organization devoted to enhancing opportunities for Hispanics in the performing arts. He has been a mentor, teacher, inspiration and friend to countless actors and actresses.

Loved as a person and performer, respected for his absolute professionalism, Darrow is a biographer’s dream. He has a phenomenal memory for detail, an extensive memorabilia collection and friends and family happy to talk about him.

Henry Darrow Biography Lightning in a Bottle

The many faces of Henry Darrow

Although Darrow is the star, his biography includes interviews and anecdotes from many contributors: director Raymond Austin, boxing promoter Al Bernstein, actress/comedienne Ruth Buzzi, writer Harry Cason, actor Don Collier, actress Linda Cristal, Darrow’s brother Dennis Delgado and cousin Solange Delgado, actress Marie Gomez, actor John Hertzler, university professor Robert Jacobs, screenwriter Richard Leder, actor Denis Lehane, Darrow’s wife actress Lauren Levian, director Lee Lowrimore, actress Patrice Martinez, producer Kent McCray, casting director/radio host Susan McCray, director Francisco Menendez, actor Denny Miller, actor Dan Morris, actor/aviation industry entrepreneur Eric Paisley, actor Rudy Ramos, director Dorothy Rankin, publicist/writer Luis Reyes, journalist/poet Miluka Rivera, actress Sally Struthers, actor James Victor and actor Morgan Woodward.

Interviews are still being conducted. Anyone with recollections to share about Henry Darrow, please contact author Jan Pippins at For updates on progress and publication, visit our website designed by Penny McQueen:

He was everything a director could ever possibly want. I call him ‘lightning in the bottle’ because he would show up ready to go. Take one, he’s great!
~Francisco Menendez

It’s my passion. I’m there to do my best. Rehearsals are a step back, because I’ll be well-prepared and other people won’t be. I research the part. I have all of my dialogue memorized, then work in my interpretation, my own personality, where it works and where it doesn’t. Somebody says it’s not competitive and I say, oh yes it is! Be ready, guys!
~ Henry Darrow

When Henry Darrow came onto the set, it was like the sun came up.
~Linda Cristal

© Henry Darrow and Jan Pippins 2009. All rights reserved.

post Mark Slade’s New Cartoon

March 15th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 2:57 pm
Mark Slade in the years after The High Chaparral

Mark Slade in the years after The High Chaparral

The Mark Slade Studio Website’s RedactedRedux website has another new cartoon – Last Chance Saloon.

post Getting to Know You In The News

March 15th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 2:56 pm

The Kansas State Teachers College, Pittsburg, KS requested a copy of Susan Sukman McCrays Getting To Know You tribute to Page Cavanaugh. The show, which aired on January 6, 2009, will be placed in the KSTC library archives in a Page Cavanaugh section. Listeners can hear the show at in the archives.

Bobby Goldsboro

Bobby Goldsboro

Getting To Know You with Susan McCray has two upcoming interviews of special interest to the HC generation: Bobby Goldsboro on March 10 and Don Grady on April 7. Getting to Know You airs on

  • Tuesdays
    6:30 p.m. Pacific
    9:30 p.m. Eastern
  • Thursdays
    Repeat Performance
    3:30 p.m. Pacific
    6:30 p.m. Eastern

Musician, composer, lyricist and performer Bobby Goldsboro recorded a long list of top forty hits including Honey, Watching Scotty Grow, Little Green Apples, Autumn of my Life, and With Pen in Hand. As host of his own television show he developed a loyal fan base that followed his career as a writer of children’s books, video producer, television musical director, and painter. Check out his website for examples of his work, greeting cards, and everything Goldsboro.
On Getting to Know You, March 10 on Or listen in the archives on

Don Grady

Don Grady

post Maire Gomez, Looking Like Somebody

March 15th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 2:51 pm
Marie Gomez as Perlita in The High Chaparral

Marie Gomez as Perlita in The High Chaparral

by Jan Pippins

Smartly dressed, hair neatly coiffed, make-up impeccable and smile dazzling, Marie Gomez looks like a movie-star even when examining papayas at the Farmers’ Market. “I know you’re somebody,” declared the fruit-stand owner. “I know it!”

Warm and funny, Gomez is a very special somebody. Although she portrayed sexy, manipulative Perlita Flores and other women of dubious virtue, Gomez is devoted to friends, family and charity-work. If you can’t imagine Perlita as a staunch Presbyterian who feeds the poor and helps orphans, read on. That’s why it’s called “acting”.

“I was raised in a good Christian family. I believe in God. I go to church,” she says. “My father always told us to help the ones who are less fortunate. He was the best human being I’ve known in my life. He had a great heart for the poor. My mother was like this, too.”Marie Gomez

Her father did not want her to become an actress, but she dreamed of Broadway. “When I became of age, I said, Papa, this is what I want. I’m going to New York.”

He replied gently but firmly, “Listen, Marie. You’re a big girl. I cannot stop you, but one thing I’m asking you: Make us look good. Don’t bring shame.”

She lived with her sister while singing and dancing on Broadway, then left New York for Hollywood. First came small parts in films like 1965’s Marriage on the Rocks, in which she met Roberto Contreras. Her break-out role came in 1966 with The Professionals, a critically acclaimed film in the vanguard of new, gritty Westerns. Directed by Academy Award winner Richard Brooks, it starred Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin and Claudia Cardinale. Capable character actors like Contreras had brief, meaty scenes. Relative newcomer Gomez played Chiquita, revolutionary and ex-lover of demolitions expert Bill (Lancaster). Making the movie was grinding hard work. Gomez dug in, passing up parties to rest and prepare for the next day’s shoot. “When a man, an actor, has been out late, drinking too much, he looks bad, they say, what a good actor! When it’s a woman, they say, what happened to her? She looks terrible!”

Video Clip from High Chaparral episode Champion of the Western World

Video Clip from High Chaparral episode Champion of the Western World

The Professionals garnered several Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe nomination for Gomez, but more people recognize her for her reoccurring role on The High Chaparral than for her films. Whether in Sweden, Spain or at the local market, Gomez meets fans. People love Perlita, especially men. “Because she is what she is, you accept her or not,” says Gomez. “But she wanted to get married. Perlita loved the clothes. She thinks if she gets married, she’s going to wear that long white dress!”

Marie Gomez treasures working on Chaparral, choosing brilliant Champion of the Western World as her favorite episode. It spotlighted Gomez’ comedic flare, but she was initially afraid she couldn’t carry it off. Encouragement came from always-supportive Henry Darrow, who calls her a professional and an instinctive actress. “He said, you can do it. Any emotion, you can do it.” She ad-libbed the stand-out scene where Perlita shows off her new hat to furious Victoria and hat-thief Manolito.

Her heavily ad-libbed scenes with Darrow were great fun, but she enjoyed working with everybody. “I appreciated them very much. Roberto Contreras! Oh, what a funny guy he was!” she says. “Linda Cristal is a very good actress. She does scenes so beautifully. I liked Cameron Mitchell. What a guy! He was a pro.”

She remembers Leif Erickson as “always a gentleman”, but not everyone was so restrained. Says Darrow, “Guys were always hitting on her, so she isolated herself.”

“This is my problem in this business, when you have a certain look,” responds Gomez, who refused to do movies with nudity, including one with Gene Hackman and Al Pacino. “People I don’t even know, they say they have dated me, people you would not believe would lie like that.”

Lies are an unpleasant part of show-business and she recalls an incident when she was guest-starring on Chaparral. An early-to-bed, early-riser who had to be on the set at five a.m., she was in her room when a raucous group of non-actors next door disturbed her sleep. Wearing a robe that covered her from neck to toe, she knocked on the door and asked them to be quiet. When the story broke, it said Gomez came to their room in a negligee. “That’s not my style, not me at all!” says appalled Gomez and Darrow agreed. “He said, but I saw you, Marie! With the robe, the high neck!”

“Henry was always very respectful. He is not only a fine actor, he is a man with style,” she says. “As an actor, he is in the same class as Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin. But he has more joy on the screen than they do.”

However, onscreen kisses between Perlita and Manolito, like kissing Burt Lancaster, were just part of the day’s work. “I don’t like it, because you have lots of people looking at you. And it is so professional, that kiss. I don’t feel a thing.”

But Marie Gomez feels deep compassion for the needy. For eleven years, she spearheaded a relief project for Mexican orphans, delivering busloads of food, toys and clothing. Today, she volunteers for The Lord’s Lighthouse of Hollywood Presbyterian Church. As part of this cross-cultural ministry, she commits time each week to serving hot meals, donating clean clothing and providing spiritual support to hundreds of impoverished men, women and children.

When not helping the less fortunate, energetic Gomez is busy acting, socializing with friends and family and exercising to stay fit. As for ambitious Perlita Flores, Gomez believes it’s possible that Perlita became the madam of a successful Tucson bordello, her wardrobes bursting with pretty dresses and hats from Paris.

© Jan Pippins 2009

post Henry Darrow Beyond Fair in My Fair Lady

March 15th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 2:43 pm
Henry Darrow as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady

Henry Darrow as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady

Henry Darrow continues his active career by appearing in the Wilmington, NC Opera House Theater Company production of My Fair Lady. He sings and dances his way into the hearts of the audience as Alfred P. Doolittle – and is receiving standing ovations from the crowd.

To see a short clip of Henry’s performance, watch this video from WECT TV6 on the production.

post BarBara Luna on Enterprise Set

January 14th, 2009

Filed under: Cast & Crew News — admin @ 8:15 pm

Barbara Luna always causes a stir, and her visit to the set of Enterprise was no exception. Check out this blog listing, which calls her ageless, red-hot, and never boring!

BarBara Luna in High Chaparral

« Previous PageNext Page »