This section is a compilation of all shows with Hispanic/Latino characters.
Their heritage can be from a variety of countries including Cuba, Puerto Rico,
South America, Central America or Mexico. For breakdowns to specific groups see
separate sections. For example: Brazilian, Chilean, Cuban, Mexican, Nicaraguan,
Puerto Rican, Spanish or Venezuelan.
**(Eddie Velez) Frankie "Dishpan" Santana, a Mexican-American Hollywood special
effects man raised in the barrio of East Los Angeles who joined the
soldier-of-fortune adventurers known as the A-Team during the premiere episode
of the 1986 fall season.
THE ADVENTURES OF KIT CARSON/SYN/1951-55
*(Don Diamond/costar) El Toro, Mexican sidekick of famous frontiersman/scout Kit
Carson who roamed the Old West of the 1800's. Don Diamond was born in Brooklyn.
A.E.S. HUDSON STREET/ABC/1978
*(Gregory Sierra) Dr. Antonio "Tony" Menzies, an harried Hispanic chief resident
working at an inner city emergency ward located on Hudson Street in the Lower
East Side of New York City. Other cast included Rosana Soto as Nurse Rosa
*(Paul Rodriguez) Paul (Pablo) Rivera, a young Mexican comedian who lived in Los
Angeles with his outspoken 13-member family including Joe Santos and Katy Jurado
played Pablo's parents, Domingo and Rosa Maria; Martha Velez, as his sister
Lucia Rivera Del Gato; Arnaldo Santana, as her husband Hector Del Gato; Bert
Rosario as brother Manuel Rivera; Maria Richwine as Manuel's wife, Carmen; Alma
Cuervo as unmarried sister, Sylvia Rivera; Hector Elizondo as Jose
Sanchez/Shapiro; Edie Marie Rubio as Linda Rivera; Antonio Torres as Nicholas
Rivera; Claudia Gonzales as Anna Maria Del Gato; Martha Gonzales as Susana Del
Gato; Mario Lopez as Tomas Del Gato; Beto Lovato as Mario Del Gato; and Michelle
Smith as Elena Del Gato.
This series was set in Acapulco, Mexico, but all of the actors were
non-Hispanic. Ralph Taeger as Partick Malone and James Coburn as Gregg Miles
were two Korean War buddies who decided to drop out of society and live the good
life ("booze and women"). When they needed to earn some money, they served as
security for Mr. Carver (Telly Savalas), a retired criminal lawyer.
ACAPULCO H.E.A.T./SYN/1993-94 & 96
*(Randy Vasquez) Marcos Guetierrez, Mexican member of a multi-national group of
special agents working for H.E.A.T.--Hemisphere Emergency Action Team. Beefy
sex-symbol Fabio appeared as Claudio, the owner of a hotel located in Puerto
Vallarta, Mexico used by the H.E.A.T. agents
THE ADDAMS FAMLY/ABC/1965-66
*(John Astin) Gomez Addams, cigar-smoking eccentric millionaire who lives in a
spooky gothic mansion with his slender wife, Morticia. Gomez's heritage is
Spanish and his hot-blooded nature erupts when his wife speaks the French
language. As Gomez would say "Tish!, when you speak French, it drives me wild,
Cara Mia!" He would then grab her arm and plant a trail of kisses from her hand
up to her waiting lips. Morticia's French supposedly helped clear up a sinus
condition Gomez had for 22 years. One of Gomez's love poems stated "When I first
saw you from afar, My heart flamed with fierce passion. And when you spoke
French, ooh-la-la!..." Gomez kept his Garcia y Vegas cigars in a cigar store
Indian statue that rested in his museum-like living room. Besides Gomez and
Morticia, the Addams family included Ken Weatherwax as their portly son Pugsley
Addams; Lisa Loring as their somber little girl Wednesday Friday Addams; Blossom
Rock as Grandmama "the witch" Addams; Jackie Coogan as the bald Uncle Fester
Frump; Felix Sillas the hairy Cousin Itt; and Ted Cassidy as Lurch, the family's
towering zombie butler who answers the family gong with "You Rang?" The series
is based on cartoons created by Charles Addams that appeared in The New Yorker
Magazine. In 1991 Raoul Julia played the role of Gomez in the theatrical movie
The Addams Family and the sequel Addams Family Values (1993).
THE ADVENTURES OF KIT CARSON/SYN/1951-55
*(Don Diamond/costar) El Toro, Mexican sidekick of famous frontiersman/scout Kit
Carson who roamed the Old West of the 1800's. Don Diamond was born in Brooklyn.
ALL IN THE FAMILY/CBS/1971-83
**(Liz Torres) Teresa Betancourt, a Puerto Rican female who took a room at the
home of Archie Bunker during the 1976-77 season. Temporarily laid off, Archie
took in Teresa Betancourt as a boarder. When Archie opened his corner bar,
"Archie's Place," he hired a Puerto Rican bus boy named Jose (Abraham
Alvarez/1979-83), a Nicaraguan immigrant and later Raoul (Joe Rosario/1980-83).
A. Martinez played a bar worker named Manuel in episodes "Archie's Bitter Pill"
(November 6, 1977) and "Archie's Road Back" (November 13, 1977) when Archie got
addicted to amphetamines.
**(Adam Rodriguez) Patrick Fortado; a wheelchair-bound computer expert.
**(Storybook Character) Mexican Bandit, General Frijoles was the subject of
fables read on this popular children's program by host Andy Devine, successor to
the original show host, Smilin' Ed McConnell.
*(Edward James Olmos) Jess Gonzalez, a gruff Mexican-American barber with a
heart of gold who has lived in East Los Angeles in California all of his life.
Jess is Mexican but thinks of himself as a “Spaniard.” The Gonzalez family
consist of Sonia Braga as Berta, Jess's loving wife (who dies in the first
episode but returns in flashbacks); Kurt Caceres as Conrado Gonzalez, the oldest
child, who was the first to go to college - he became a doctor; A.J. Lamas as
Cisco Gonzalez, the youngest child and aspiring filmmaker; Constance Marie as
Nina Gonzalez, a recent law school graduate working for Legal Services on behalf
of immigration rights who moved into her parents' three month after Berta's
death to take on her mother's role; Esai Morales as Esteban Gonzalez, Jess’s
“ne’er do well” son and ex-gang member who is out on parole and trying to put
his life back together; Austin Noah Marques as Pablito Gonzalez, Esteban's
six-year-old son; Seidy Lopez as Laura (Pablito's mother) a drug addict who is
forbidden to see her son; Rachel Ticotin as Vangie Gonzalez Taylor, Jess's
daughter, a fashion designer who lives on the West Side with her husband and two
children (Nina feels she "Sold out" by leaving the community and Vangie thinks
Nina a "fool" for staying in the barrio); Hohn Brennan as Larry Taylor, an Anglo
real estate developer who is married to Vangi -.they have two kids, Tiffany and
Scott; and Raquel Welch as Aunt Dora, the once aspiring actress and now drama
queen of the family. Other friends of the family included Shawn Elliot as
Fernando a debonair Cuban bandleader now back in town who once left Dora
pregnant but returned to Cuba; Kate del Castillo as Ofelia, a ballerina from
Mexico who must choose between her love for Estaban and her career in the Arts;
Valeria as Izabel, a gifted singer from Mexico City, who bonds with Cisco's
family; Jackie Guerra as Gordie, Jackie's activist partner at her law firm; and
Diana Bracho as Juana, an immigrant seamstress who works at Vangie’s clothing
company and becomes a love interest of Jess Gonzalez.
**(John Vargas) Cardinel, US Army soldier based in the peace time army post, a
computer facility located in Camp Tar Creek, Texas.
B. L. STRYKER/ABC/1989-90
**(Rita Moreno) Kimberly Baskin, Puerto Rican ex-wife of B. L. Stryker, a former
New Orleans cop living in Palm Beach.
**(Silvana Gallardo) Dr. Maya Hernandez, Hispanic physician stationed aboard the
space station Babylon 5. Maya assisted the black head physican, Dr. Stephen
Franklin. Also featured was Nikki Corri as Lt. Ramirez.
*(Tony Plana) Luke Ramirez, an Hispanic police detective working in the mostly
white desert community of Bakersfield, California.
**(Jaime Tirelli) Orlando Lopez, Hispanic utility man for the Washington
Americans, a professional baseball team.
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK/ABC/1970-71
**(Vito Scotti) Mr. Valasquez, a bumbling Hispanic building superintendent in
the New York City brownstone apartment where two young African-American
newlyweds set up their new home.
*(Gregory Sierra/costar) Det. Sgt. Chano Amenguale, a Puerto Rican plainclothes
detective who worked with fellow officers in New York's 12th Precinct station
located in Greenwich Village.
**(Jaqueline Obradors) Elena Vera, gutsy, sassy Hispanic police detective
working among the ranks of an all male squad of policeman in the Battery Park
section of New York City. Taunted daily by her macho squad members, Elena’s
voice of reason counters her fellow officers stupid generalizations on
womanhood. Prior to BATTERY PARK Obradors appeared in a recurring role as Irma
on the sitcom JESSE and starred opposite Giancarlo Espositio and Bradley
Whitford in NBC’s courtroom drama pilot THE PEOPLE.
BAY CITY BLUES/NBC/1983
**(Marco Rodriquez) Bird, the colorful mascot of the Bluebirds, a minor-league
baseball team in the working-class town of Bay City, California. It was Bird's
job to don a huge blue feathered costume and parade around the ball stands as
the "Blue Bird of Happiness." Ken Olin the womanizing Rocky Padillo, a member of
**(Jose Solano) Manny Guiterrez, Latino lifeguard working for Baywatch, a beach
patrol assigned to the Santa Monica beaches in California.
**(Eddie Velez) Julio Morales, an aspiring Hispanic clothing designer working in
New York City for Berrengers, a posh department store.
BEVERLY HILLS 90210/FOX/1990-2000
**(Mark Damon Espinoza) Jesse Vasquez, Mexican-American law student who meets
and marries Jewish-American Andrea Zuckerman. They have a child named Hannah in
the spring of 1994.
THE BILL DANA SHOW/NBC/1963-65
*(Bill Dana) Jose Jimenez, a kindhearted Latino immigrant who worked as a
bellhop at Park Central Hotel in New York City. His catchphrase was "My
name...Jose Jimenez". The Jose Jimenez character first appeared in a number of
comedy skits on THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW in the 1950s. The original skit that
spawned Jose featured a Latin American guy hired to train Santa Clauses. The Ho!
Ho ! Ho! turned into Jo! Jo! Jo! (the consequence of a Spanish accent). The Jose
Jimenez character then appeared on THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW as a bumbling doorman.
His character became so popular that the Jose Jimenez character was spun-off
into his own show (THE BILL DANA SHOW) and assorted television specials.
According to the book Hispanics in Hollywood by Luis Reyes (p. 271), Bill Dana
revealed in a 1972 interview that "There were two Jose Jimenez characterizations
that evolved. The first one is the Walter Mitty-like character who was the
astronaut in the album recordings that sold over a million copies (both album
and single). The second is the character on THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW who was the
bumbling doorman and elevator operator who was a real person. A sweet guy trying
to assimilate into American society. He was a unique non-stereotypical Latin
portrayal, for up to that time Hispanic characters were portrayed as a Cha Cha,
a bandito, or a switchblade-wielding youth." Bill Dana who created the funny
talking Hispanic character was actually a Hungarian Jew born 1924 in Quincy,
**(Oscar Mechosa) Hector, a gay Hispanic man who was the head orderly in the
psychiatric section of the Riverside Hospital in Oakland, California. Mechosa
played a similar character on the medical sitcom STAT.
THE BRIAN BENBEN SHOW/CBS/1998
**(Louis Antonio Ramos) Billy Hernandez, a gay Hispanic weatherman and coworker
of Brian Benben, a Caucasian TV journalist demoted to a community reporter
THE BRONX ZOO/NBC/1987-88
**(Michael DeLorenzo) Salvatore Guiterrez, a Puerto-Rican-American teenager who
attended Benjamin Harrison High School in New York City (a.k.a. "The Bronx
Zoo"). He didn't do drugs, run with a gang, nor did he write his name on walls.
However, he was late for school and missed 32 out of the first 45 days of
**(Adam Rodriquez) Officer Hector Villanueva, an gung-ho Hispanic-American
uniformed police officer assigned to the 74th precinct in Brooklyn, New York.
THE BROTHERS GARCIA/NIK/2000-02
*(Alvin Alvarez) Larry Garcia, an imaginative 11-year-old loner who lives with
his Mexican-American family in San Antonio, Texas. His close-knit family members
consists of Carlos La Camara (a Cuban-American) as Ray Garcia , the hard-working
patriarch who lays down the law in the Garcia household; Ana Maris as Sonia
Garcia, the loving, pragmatic, but gossipy housewife who runs her own hair salon
right out of the house; Vaneza Leza Pitynski as Lorena Garcia, Larry's pesky,
tattletale twin sister Lorena who is addicted to telenovelas and makes every
situation into a plot from Spanish television; Bobby Gonzalez as George Garcia,
an overweight 12-year-old who had a big brain [he likes to calculate water
displacement ratios for local pools just for fun!]; and Jeffrey Licon as Carlos
Garcia, an athletic 13-year-old with a penchant for daydreaming. TRIVIA NOTE:
Colombian born Comic John Leguizamo narrates the program as grown up Larry (ala
an Hispanic Wonder Years). The series was the first Latino cast / crew show.
**(Richard Beauchamp) Rodriguez, new Hispanic recruit stationed at the U.S. Navy
Training Center in San Diego, California. He interacted with a wisecracking
Chief Petty Officer named Otto Sharkey.
**(Adam Rodriquez) Eric Delko, police detective who works for the Crime Scene
Investigations unit at the Miami Police Department. Born 12/19/76 in Miami, Eric
is single, stands 6' 1", weighs 180 pounds and speaks fluent Spanish. He
received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Miami. His skills:
Fingerprint and Drug Identification. Eric's father Pavel Delektorsky was a
**(Victor Campos) Rudy Davillo, a Mexican-American police officer, one of two
deputy sheriffs assisting a modern-day Marshal in the sprawling Madrid County,
California Madrid (also given as New Mexico).
CAGNEY AND LACEY/CBS/1982-88
**(Robert Hegyes) Det. Manny Esposito, unkempt Hispanic plainclothes police
officer stationed at the 14th precinct in New York City. Esposito was introduced
in the fall of 1986.
**(Jose Perez) Ramon Gonzales, an Hispanic man (one of many multi-ethnic
employees) who worked at the branch office of the New York State Unemployment
Office in New York City with a harried supervisor named Joe Calucci.
*(Harry Frank Porter) Agapito, a Spanish speaking lion who lived in the village
of Carrascolendas. Other cast members included Mike Gomez as Campamocha, the
handyman; Dyana Elizondo as Dyana the Doll; Agapito Leal as Carrascoles, the
village cafe owner and Lizanne Brazell as Pepper, the detective. This 30 minute
bi-lingual Spanish/English educational program was produced by station KLRN-TV
in San Antonio-Austin, Texas and targeted children ages four-to-nine.
CASSIE AND COMPANY/NBC/1982
**(A. Martinez) Benny Silva, a streetwise Hispanic youth and part-time gym
manager who acted as a legman for private detective Cassie Holland.
*(Liz Torres/costar) Elana Beltran, an Hispanic assistant of Florence Johnston,
an executive housekeeper at the Manhattan based St. Frederick's Hotel. Also on
staff were Robert Costanzo as Hank Sabatino; the beefy engineer in charge of the
hotel's air-conditioning and heating.
*(Cesar Romero) Cesar Romero, Hispanic actor and entertainer hosted this
half-hour program featuring a variety of guest stars.
*(Hector Elizondo/costar) Dr. Phillip Watters, a enigmatic Hispanic chief of
surgery at Chicago Hope Hospital. Elizondo grew up in New York City, where he
was a drummer with a Latin jazz quintet. He later played congas for a ballet
class, got hired as a dancer, quit to become a bullfighter and then became an
actor. CHICAGO HOPE is Elizondo's sixth TV series. He's also been in FOLEY
SQUARE, a.k.a. PABLO, FREEBIE AND THE BEAN, POPI, and CASABLANCA.
CHICO AND THE MAN/NBC/1974-78
*(Freddie Prinze/costar) Chico Rodriguez, a young wisecracking Chicano who
worked with a cranky old Anglo garage mechanic in the barrio of East Los
Angeles. Isaac Ruiz appeared as Chico's friend, Ramon a.k.a. "Mando". When
Freddie Prinze took his life in 1977 (he shot himself in the head), Gabriel
Melgar was introduced as Raul Garcia, a 12-year-old runaway from Mexico who had
stowed away in a car crossing from Tijuana to the U.S.A. The vivacious Charo
played his Aunt Charo, a talented entertainer who had arrived from Spain to work
in Southern California. NOTE: Freddie Prinze was actually part Hungarian and
part Puerto Rican. He called himself a "Hungarican." During the life of the
series, groups of Mexican/Chicano Americans objected to the way Freddie Prinze's
Puerto Rican accent misrepresented a "Chicano" character, supposedly born and
raised in East Los Angeles.
*(Erik Estrada/costar) Frank "Ponch" Poncherello, an Hispanic state highway
patrol motorcycle police officer teamed with an Anglo partner Jon Baker who
cruised the freeways in and around the Los Angeles area. Jon Baker first met
Ponch when he was running with a Chicano street gang. Because of Jon's
intervention, Ponch decided to enroll in the Highway Patrol and become one of
the good guys. Erik Estrada was born in Spanish Harlem.
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS/CBS/1985 (Mini-series)
*(Faye Dunaway/costar) Queen Isabella, the monarch of Spain in the 15th century
who financed the travels of Italian-born explorer, Christopher Columbus who
sought to find a new route to Asia. Other cast included Nicol Williamson as King
Ferdinand; Rosanno Brazzi as Diego Ortiz DeVilhegas; Virna Lisi as Dona Moniz
Perestrello; Oliver Reed as Martin Pinzon; and Raf Vallone as Jose Vizinho.
THE CISCO KID/SYN/1950-56
*(Duncan Renaldo/costar) Cisco Kid, a Mexican "Robin Hood of the Old West" who
roamed the dusty trails of the Southwest accompanied by his jovial sidekick,
Pancho played by Leo Carrillo. The characters were adapted from the short story
The Caballero's Way written by O. Henry. Duncan Renaldo was actually a Romanian.
He had served 8 months in prison as an illegal alien before being pardoned by
President (FDR) Roosevelt. Renaldo's sidekick Leo Carillo was actually of
Mexican descent. He was known for his character's broken English phrases like "Ceesco?
Let's went! The Shereef ees coming." Carillo, who was a popular fixture at the
Hollywood Christmas Parade, died in 1961 at the age of 81. TRIVIA NOTE: Gilbert
Roland who played the Cisco Kid in 11 B-movies once said "My Cisco Kid might
have been a bandit, but he fought for the poor and was a civilized man in the
true sense of the word" Roland was born Luis Antonio Damaso de Alonso on
December 11, 1905 in Juarez, Mexico. He died of cancer on May 15th 1994 in Los
Angeles. He was 88.
**(Liz Torres) Anna Maria Batista, outspoken Cuban-born purchasing agent working
for the Department of City Services in a metropolis referred to as "The City."
Anna Maria, who once played the role of Maria in the production of "West Side
Story." still had a revolutionary husband incarcerated in Havana. Gregory Sierra
later appeared briefly as her Anna's husband, recently released from a Cuban
**(Dion Basco) Alberto 'Al/Rocket Man/Buttons' Ramos, a street-smart Hispanic
youth who for a price can get anything you might need from connections that are
to say the least suspicious.
*(Luigi Amodeo) Paulo, a Brazilian kicker personally recruited by the female
owner of the Miami-based Breakers football team (Of course, she had more than
his kicking talents on her mind when she hired this undisciplined playboy).
**(Ricardo Montalban) Zachary Powers, a wealthy Hispanic businessman who
constantly plotted against the members of the Colby clan, a wealthy white Los
Angeles family who owned Colby Enterprises, a multinational conglomerate.
*(Greg Giraldo) John Alvarez, a Harvard-educated Hispanic lawyer who works for a
Manhattan legal firm. Although successful, John never lets his success get in
the way of his family and his childhood friends in Queens, New York. Other cast
members were Diana-Maria Riva as John’s over-the-top office manager Maria
Marquez; and Gregory Sierra as Luis Alvarez, John’s working-class conservative
father who runs a barber shop in Queens. The series was canceled after four
*(Luis Avalos/costar) Jesse Rodriquez, a successful Latino landscaping
businessman who lived in a condo right next store to a WASP insurance salesman.
His family members included Yvonne Wilder as his wife, Maria; Julie Carmen as
their daughter, Linda; and James Victor as Jose Montoya, a friend of the family.
The next-door neighbors Anglo son later married Linda Rodriguez, which created
more tension between the culturally divergent families.
THE COSBY MYSTERIES/NBC/1994-95
**(Rita Moreno) Angie Corea, a fussy but loyal Puerto-Rican housekeeper for a
semi-retired black criminologist.
*(A. Martinez) Cimmaron, Mexican-American teenage orphan who lived in the 1870s
on the New Mexico ranch of a widow who helped care for a group of parentless
boys with the help of her black ranch foreman, Jebediah Nightlinger. A. Martinez
reprised his role from the western film The Cowboys (1972) starring John Wayne
and Roscoe Lee Browne.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT/NBC/1993
**(Rachel Ticotin) Annette Rey, a female Hispanic police officer working in Los
Angeles with Anglo partner, Detective Ken O'Donnell. Officer Reyes is a single
parent. Maria Celedonio played her young daughter, Tanya.
**(Clifton González González) Nando Taylor, a street-wise Hispanic youth
counselor working for the Crisis Center in San Francisco who had connections
with people in high and low places. A native Angelino Clifton González
González's (aka Clifton Craig Collins, Jr.) stage name pays homage to his
grandfather actor Pedro González González who was once under contract to John
Wayne in such films as The High and the Mighty (1954) and Rio Bravo (1959).
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