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post Henry Darrow on PBS’ Pioneers of Television

February 15th, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:12 pm

Henry Darrow as Manolito Montoya

Henry Darrow as Manolito Montoya

In January, Henry Darrow appeared in the PBS series, Pioneers of Television episode, Westerns. If you missed the original broadcast check your schedule as PBS frequently rebroadcasts this popular show, or see the PBS website.

The following article is from the Wilmington Star News Online.

Last week, PBS’ “Pioneers of Television” series showed how “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry was able to explore topical issues like race relations by setting his show in the distant future. This week, the series explores how TV Westerns did the same thing – by setting their stories in the past. And one Wilmington resident played a key role.

Among the TV icons interviewed in tonight’s episode (airing at 8 p.m.) is Henry Darrow, who starred in “High Chaparral” from 1967 to 1971. The actor has lived in Wilmington with his wife, Lauren Levian, since 2002.

Darrow, who changed his name from Delgado shortly before landing the role of Manolito Montoya in “High Chaparral” role, was one of few minority actors to have a regular role on TV Westerns. But in his interview, the Puerto Rican-born Darrow downplays his role playing a “breakout character.”

“I’m not a Latin actor or a Hispanic actor. I’m an actor who happens to be of Spanish heritage,” he says.

Darrow, who filmed his segment with the show’s producers last January in Wilmington, also reveals that he and his co-stars often were given freedom to invent their own lines when the script called for them to speak Spanish.

A fixture in TV Westerns of the ’60s and ’70s – “The Wild Wild West,” “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke,” and “Zorro” are on his resume – Darrow also comments on some of his fellow “pioneers.” The episode includes interviews with Robert Conrad (“The Wild Wild West”), Linda Evans (“Big Valley”), James Garner (“Maverick”), Fess Parker (“Daniel Boone”) and Parker’s co-star Darby Hinton.

“The one thread that runs through us is the Western,” Darrow says at the opening of the episode. “And we were there to celebrate it.”

Watch “Pioneers of Television – Westerns” at 8 p.m. Tuesday on PBS.

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