“Henry Darrow:Lightning in the Bottle”
Film buffs will enjoy this revealing biography about a phenomenal man, his profession and how events in America during the second half of the twentieth century affected careers, network television and present day Latino actors in Hollywood.”
“This book tells the interesting, never dull life of Henry Darrow (Manolito from High Chaparral) … You'll love him for his determination, his faults and his charm.” (Dreemcp, Barnes & Noble reader review)
“An honest look at the entertainment industry through the eyes of a most incredible, charming actor. Wonderful read.” (Sue Thurman, Wild West News)
“...Darrow and Pippins skillfully intersperse the historical context with thoughtful analyses and often light-hearted vignettes…Darrow’s contemplation of an Anglo name change, for example, is managed amusingly, however the deeper subject of ethnic identity is treated with focused consideration…” (Kirkus Reviews)
In a time when most TV and film Latinos were stereotyped as comic foils or bandidos, Darrow blazed new trail as the sexy, complex vaquero Manolito Montoya in the landmark western The High Chaparral (1967-1971). As Manolito, he was the first Latino star in a dramatic series. He was also the first actor of Puerto Rican descent to star in a network series. The role of Manolito catapulted him to international fame. Of Manolito, Darrow said, “I am happy to have given Latin Americans a hero they can identify with.”
In 1970, he put his career on the line and joined Ricardo Montalbán and others to form NOSOTROS, the nation’s first Latino entertainment and arts advocacy organization. As a leader in NOSOTROS, Darrow encouraged the networks to create realistic portrayals of Latinos on screen and to hire more Latinos both in front of the cameras and on production crews. A strong promoter for his beloved Puerto Rico, he was instrumental in establishing a branch of the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) in Puerto Rico.
Award Winning Character Actor
Darrow’s monumental body of work encompasses continued firsts. For his portrayal of suave Rafael Castillo in the daytime drama Santa Barbara, he received an Emmy Award; he was the first Latino to be so honored. He was also the first Latino to portray Zorro and starred in a record-breaking three TV Zorro series – twice as Zorro and once as the father of Zorro. He was recently featured on the PBS series Pioneers in Television.