I was lucky to meet and work with Henry in the TV Mini-Series FRESNO many many years ago where we both portrayed Conquistadors in the Opening Prologue of the show. He was a very nice guy and we took a wonderful photo together in full costume. I have it somewhere in storage. Need to find that beautiful pic.
So sad to hear of his passing.
I wasn't a good horseman, so they made me a conquistador "on foot". In this screen shot Henry is the Commandante center screen. I am in background first on left (looking at photo). I'll try to find the beautiful photo we took together. 2 or 3 hot days shooting in the Calabasas Mountains back in the early 80's.
I got to work on the film a lot playing different extra parts. Was lucky to meet Carol Burnett, Jeffrey Jones and Bill Paxton (Rest In Peace) who was a very nice young actor. Great John Morris score to the Mini-Series. The opening prologue with Henry Darrow starts at 1:30
Henry Darrow made his feature film debut, under the name “Henry Delgado,” in a small part in the western-horror mashup CURSE OF THE UNDEAD. In the film, strange vampiric happenings occur in a small western town after the arrival of stranger “Drake Robey” (Michael Pate). The film contains a flashback scene set in 1860 in which rancher Don Miguel’s son “Drago Robles” (also Michael Pate) returns from Spain to discover that his brother “Roberto” (Henry Darrow) has seduced Drago’s beloved, “Isabella” (Jeanna Cross). Drago kills Roberto in a jealous rage and then, overcome with grief, stabs himself.
Edward Dein directed and co-wrote the 1959 film with his wife Mildred. Irving Gertz provided the unreleased score.
Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to Ronald Alexander's play HOLIDAY FOR LOVERS as a vehicle for Clifton Webb. Although the play was set in European tourist spots, the studio decided to change the film's setting to South America. In the film, when his oldest daughter “Meg” (Jill St. John) decides to stay in in São Paulo for six more weeks while on a school tour, to take a course from famed architect “Eduardo Barroso” (Paul Henreid), her father “Robert Dean” (Clifton Webb) decides to take the rest of the family there for vacation to find out why. Henry Darrow had a bit part as a Station Wagon Driver in the film.
Henry Levin directed the 1959 comedy. Leigh Harline provided the unreleased score, which was conducted by Alfred Newman. The film grossed $3.1 million at the box office.
REVENGE OF THE VIRGINS focuses on a branch of the Apache tribe that is nearly decimated through repeated conflicts with cowboys searching for gold, and consequently, the only surviving members are women. Upon overhearing old-timer “Pan Tagert” (Jodean Russo) speak wistfully of the gold in the mountains near Gold Creek, Easterner “Mulvy Potter” (Charles Veltman) and his ambitious wife “Ruby” (Jewell Morgan) decide to risk a trip there. Ruby, who has long dreamed of entertaining at her own saloon, initially rejects her husband’s plan, but after Potter signs on hired guns “Condon” (Henry Darrow) and Mike Horton, and Tagert as a guide, she agrees.
Peter Perry Jr. directed this 1959 sexploitation film. Guenther Kauer provided the unreleased score.
In MAN-TRAP, two Korean War veterans, “Matt Jameson” (Jeffrey Hunter) and “Vince Biskay” (David Janssen), re-unite to pull off a heist at a San Francisco airport, but find themselves running for their lives. Henry Darrow had a small role in the film as a Mexican Policeman. Actor Edmond O'Brien directed his second and last film with this 1961 crime drama. Leith Stevens provided the unreleased score. The film barely made a showing at the box office, with a gross under $300,000.
In the 1961 Tennessee Williams’ adaptation SUMMER AND SMOKE, plain, repressed spinster “Alma Winemiller” (Geraldine Page) falls for “John Buchanan” (Laurence Harvey), a dashing young medical student. But he prefers the wilder life, until it's too late. Pamela Tiffin played “Nellie Ewell,” the girl that John plans to marry. Henry Darrow had a bit part as a drunk on a porch.
Director Peter Glenville had previously directed a stage version of Tennessee Williams’s 1948 play in England. Hal Wallis Productions bought the film rights to the play in 1952, shortly before its Off-Broadway revival, for $100,000.
Elmer Bernstein’s score received both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. Bernstein lost the Oscar to Henry Mancini for BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S and the Golden Globe to Dimitri Tiomkin for THE GUNS OF NAVARONE. Bernstein’s score was released on an RCA LP, which was re-issued on CD by BMG Music Spain in 1999. Kritzerland released the complete score in 2011.
In 1967, Henry Darrow broke into the big time when he signed on to the cast of the television western “The High Chaparral”. The show is set in the 1870s, and revolves around "‘Big John’ Cannon” (Leif Erickson), a rancher living in the dry desert of the southern Arizona Territory, near the Mexican border, in Apache Indian country. John runs a ranch, called "The High Chaparral" (named for a local brushy plant), with his brother “Buck” (Cameron Mitchell) and his own son “Billy Blue” (known as "Blue Boy") (Mark Slade).
Blue Boy's mother, “Anna-lee Cannon” (Joan Caulfield), is killed in the first episode by an attacking Apache Indian arrow. John then marries a beautiful Mexican woman named “Victoria” (Linda Cristal), 30 years his junior, the daughter of a powerful neighboring Mexican rancher, “Don Sebastián Montoya” (Frank Silvera). In what is initially a marriage of convenience, she soon appreciates his strength and character, falls in love with him and becomes very supportive. John's marriage to Victoria also brings her brother “Manolito” (Henry Darrow) to live with the American "gringo" family on the extensive ranch.
The cast of “The High Chaparral”: Leif Erickson, Mark Slade, Linda Cristal, and Henry Darrow
The series premiered on Sunday, 10 September 1967 at 10 PM. The show was opposite “Mission: Impossible,” then beginning its second season on CBS, and “The ABC Sunday Night Movie.” The programs split the audience, and all survived to the next season.
Henry Darrow in “The High Chaparral”
For its second season (1968-69), NBC moved the show to a new timeslot—Fridays at 7:30 PM. Here, “The High Chaparral” competed with the new “Operation: Entertainment” on ABC, a variety show filmed on a different military base every week. But its most direct competition came from “The Wild, Wild West,” beginning its fourth and last season on CBS. Since that show was on the downslide, and “Operation: Entertainment” ended up being cancelled, “The High Chaparral” moved into another season.
In its third season (1969-70), the series gradually evolved to make Manolito and Buck the most prominent characters, as they were the ones who tended to get into trouble; both were somewhat irresponsible, particularly under the influence of drink. For what was generally regarded as a serious Western TV series, their scenes provided "comic relief" for the show. “The High Chaparral”’s all-new competition this season was a slate of game and comedy shows on both competing networks—“Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Brady Bunch” on ABC, and “Get Smart” and “The Good Guys” on CBS. At midseason, “Let’s Make a Deal” was replaced with “The Flying Nun,” and “The Good Guys” was replaced by the “Tim Conway Show.” But as the only dramatic alternative in that hour, “The High Chaparral” delivered enough ratings to move to another season.
Henry Darrow and Cameron Mitchell in “The High Chaparral”
In season 4 (1970-71), the show faced “The Brady Bunch” and “Nanny and the Professor” on ABC, and a new dramatic series, “The Interns,” on CBS. Although, “The Interns” was cancelled at the end of the season, so was “The High Chaparral,” the series just having run its course. The show was a steady mid-level performer throughout its four-season, 97-episode run, never breaking into the top 30 shows.
David Rose composed the well-known theme music for the show.
In 1969, Henry Darrow participated in what was probably the strangest project of his acting career. His co-star from “The High Chaparral,” Cameron Mitchell, decided that he wanted to write and direct his own film. The project began as an attempt to film an account of the life of Jesus Christ, with Henry Darrow playing the lead role. However, after Darrow balked at Mitchell's insistence that he wear an actual crown of thorns, Mitchell reworked the concept into an allegorical Christ story instead, in the form of a western.
In the film, set in the aftermath of the Civil War, a lost squad of Buffalo Soldiers and their Captain (Mitchell) trek through the Texas desert on an odyssey to retrieve a comrade they had thought to have been dead. Darrow plays a character called “Mex” in the film. O.J. Simpson also made his film debut in the picture, which had the working title of THE DREAM OF HAMISH MOSE.
As Darrow recounted in his autobiography, “Henry Darrow: Lighting In a Bottle,” production on the film was a fiasco. When the script called for the soldiers to be captured by Indians, the production was unable to hire Native American actors, so members of the main cast had to pull double duty as the Indians, disguised with burlap sacks on their heads with eye-holes cut out. The story called for a woman to be part of the trek, but a female proved unavailable. Mitchell substituted a gay male accountant associated with the film, put him in drag, and blurred any shots in which he was prominent to obscure his face.
When Mitchell learned that there was a group of wild animals for an entertainment attraction staying at the same hotel as the crew, Mitchell insisted on putting them in the film, resulting in a grizzly bear charging the cameraman and a leopard nearly mauling one of the actors. A baptism scene was filmed at the water trap of a golf course during the dead of winter, during which one of the actors nearly drowned in the freezing water.
This film was never released and only existed in the form of an incomplete work print whose current location is unknown. To top everything off, shortly after production had wrapped, the head editor of the film shot and killed his girlfriend, before committing suicide.
In CANCEL MY RESERVATION, Bob Hope stars as “Dan Bartlett,” a stressed out talk show host who is sent on a vacation to Arizona on doctor's orders and has to play Sherlock Holmes with his wife “Sheila” (Eva Marie Saint), to solve a series of murders that has Dan as the prime suspect. Henry Darrow co-starred as “Joe Little Cloud,” the uncle of one of the murder victims. Darrow received his first poster credit for a film.
Paul Bogart directed this 1972 comedy, which grossed $3 million at the box office. CANCEL MY RESERVATION was the final film to have a regular run at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The picture would prove to be Bob Hope’s last leading role in a feature film. Bing Crosby’s cameo in the film was his final onscreen acting role. Dominic Frontiere’s score has not had a release.
After his suspension for the shooting death of a drug runner, New York City cop "Eddie Ryan" (Robert Duvall) vows to keep the streets clean, any way he can. But he has to eat, so he takes a job as a bartender. There, the divorced Eddie meets coat check girl "Maureen" (Verna Bloom), with whom he begins a casual affair, in 1973's BADGE 373. Henry Darrow played Puerto Rican smuggler “Sweet William.”
Henry Darrow in BADGE 373
Howard W. Koch directed the film, which has an unreleased score by J.J. Jackson. BADGE 373 did only average business at the box office, with a $3.3 million U.S. take.
In NIGHT GAMES, “Tony Petrocelli” (Barry Newman), an unorthodox Harvard-educated lawyer trying to carve out a practice in a small Arizona town with his young bride “Patsy” (Susan Howard), defends pretty socialite “Pauline Hannigen” (Stefanie Powers), who is accused of murdering her husband “Dale” (Jon Cypher). With the help of investigator pal, “Pete Toley” (Albert Salmi), Petrocelli might be able to beat sharp operator “Jaimie Martinez” (Henry Darrow), the D.A. who thinks he has an airtight case against Pauline.
Don Taylor directed this made-for-television film, which was the pilot for the series “Petrocelli.” The film aired on NBC on 16 March 1974, with the series beginning in the Fall of 1974. Darrow did not appear in the series. Lalo Schifrin provided the unreleased score.
Henry Darrow’s second attempt at television success was in the David Janssen detective series “Harry O”. The series found Janssen playing “Harry Orwell,” a San Diego cop forced into retirement after he is shot in the back. To support himself, he sets up a private investigation practice out of his beach house on Coronado Island, in San Diego. Henry Darrow co-starred as San Diego PD’s “Lt. Manny Quinlan.” Quinlan is generally antagonistic toward Harry, leading to some tension between the two. The series had been launched by the made-for-television movie SMILE JENNY, YOU’RE DEAD, in which the Quinlan character did not appear. The film had aired on ABC on 3 February 1974.
David Janssen and Henry Darrow in “Harry O”
As a character, Harry O was a mess, an existential guy in constant physical pain and frequent psychological distress. He didn't have a lot of money. He didn’t drive a car, taking a bus on his cases. He rarely carried a gun. He didn't seem to have very many prospects, and that bullet in his back wasn't ever going to go away. The audience knew Harry’s troubles, because he narrated the episodes. Janssen noted that "What we have here is a show of the 1970s using a character of the 1940s."
Henry Darrow and David Janssen in “Harry O”
ABC premiered “Harry O” on Thursday, 12 September 1974 at 10 PM. The show received a good lead-in from “The Streets of San Francisco,” the #22 show for the season. “Harry O”’s competition was the “CBS Thursday Night Movie” and the new show “Movin’ On,” about truckers, on NBC. Billy Goldenberg wrote the theme for the show.
Although neither of the competing shows were in the top 30, the network was unhappy with the ratings performance of “Harry O.” For the second half of the first season, after 13 episodes had been shot, the series was retooled. The location of the series shifted to Los Angeles, due to the high production costs of filming in and around San Diego. Public transportation was lacking in L.A., so Harry took to driving a car. He still worked out of a beach house, though, now he rented a swanky beachside apartment in Santa Monica where he was immediately befriended by three bikini-clad girls. The move to L.A. also required Harry to get a new police contact. So, Henry Darrow was dropped from the show, and Anthony Zerbe stepped in as LAPD’s “Lt. K.C. Trench.” A new show opening was shot, with Billy Goldenberg’s theme receiving a more forceful orchestration.
The show’s rating picked up a little, and “Harry O” was renewed for a second season. In the second season (1975-76), “Harry O” was once again up against the “CBS Thursday Night Movie” and a new show on NBC, “Medical Story”,” which was cancelled at mid-season. The opening for the show was shot again, with Bill Goldenberg’s theme getting yet another makeover, this time with a more electronic sound
Harry was not quite so tortured a character in Season 2, and the show became a more conventional detective procedural. Anthony Zerbe's Lt. Trench was more amenable to Harry hanging around his office, demanding services that no private eye in the world would get from cops who hate private detectives. Harry no longer narrated the episodes as much, sharing less of his inner feelings with the audience.
Ratings were flat, so at the end of Season 2, “Harry O” was cancelled after 45 episodes. In a 2015 interview, Henry Darrow had great things to say about the show and David Janssen. When asked how he got along with Janssen, he answered: "Wonderfully. He had a marvelous, dry sense of humor. We pulled jokes on each other here and there. When I was being replaced, he waited for me when he finished shooting earlier in the afternoon. We had a few goodbye drinks at the hotel bar. I never saw him again, though." Janssen died just six years later, in 1980, of a massive heart attack at age 48.
Following the end of his stint on “Harry O,” Henry Darrow spent most of the 1970s doing guest shots on television series, including “Baretta,” “Police Woman,” and “Hawaii Five-0.” In the 1978 feature WHERE’S WILLIE, 8-year-old “Willie Wade” (Marc Gilpin) invents a hand-held computer which can control any electronic device, and uses it to affect the entire town where he lives. Henry Darrow stars as Willie’s father, “Sheriff Charlie Wade.” John Florea directed this 1978 family comedy, which has an unreleased score by Robert O Ragland. Shot in Texas, the film received only regional distribution.
NBC's massive 12-part, 21-hour, star-studded miniseries from 1978, CENTENNIAL was based on the best-selling historical fiction by James A. Michener. Aiming to explore 200-plus years of American history concerned with the settling of the West, CENTENNIAL was populated with a dizzying array of familiar TV actors set down in scenic locations.
Beginning, literally, with the formation of Colorado at the start of Earth's creation, CENTENNIAL's story proper begins in 1756 with the first episode “Only the Rocks Live Forever,” with the first interactions between "Our People" (the Arapaho Indians) and White Europeans - specifically, “Pasquinel” (Robert Conrad), a French-Canadian fur trapper, traveling up the South Platte River. Intent on making money from beaver pelts, Pasquinel has a burning desire to be "more than himself," to exist in a land that pushes him to his limits. The Arapaho, led by “Lame Beaver” (Michael Ansara), accept Pasquinel for his honesty and respect in their dealings, as well as for his resourcefulness in surviving within their harsh environment. Henry Darrow appeared in this single episode of the series, as “Alvarez.”
The series was directed by Virgil W. Vogel, Paul Krasny, and Harry Falk. John Addison's theme for the series was re-recorded for a 2007 Addison compilation CD from Chandos.
WALK PROUD told the story of “Emilio Mendez” (Robby Benson), a young Chicano gang member in Los Angeles, who comes to realize that the gang life is not what he really wants. But he doesn't know how to get out. Henry Darrow played youth counselor “Mike Serrano” in the film.
Robert L. Collins directed the 1979 film, which was scored by Don Peake and Robby Benson. The $2.4 million production returned only $1.7 million at the U.S. box office.
ATTICA was based on the true story of the events leading up to and during the 1971 riot at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York, and its aftermath. In the midst of the chaos, Corrections Commissioner Russell Oswald (Charles Durning) and U.S. Representative from the South Bronx Herman Badillo (Henry Darrow) work to resolve the crisis.
Marvin Chomsky won an Emmy Award for his direction of this made-for-television film, which aired on ABC on 2 March 1980. Gil Mellé provided the film’s unreleased score.
ST. HELENS was a dramatization of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. The movie begins with the volcano's awakening on March 20 and ends with its eruption on May 18, 1980. In the small Washington town of Cougar, geologist “David Jackson” (David Huffman), has been sent out to investigate if the nearby dormant volcano, Mount St. Helens, might be waking up. Jackson has barely arrived in town before he gets romantically involved with single mom “Linda Steele” (Cassie Yates), and is confronted by local bigwig “Clyde Whittaker” (Albert Salmi), who doesn’t want to hear any talk about imminent disasters, on account of them being bad for business.
Art Carney stars in the role of Harry Randall Truman, caretaker of the Mount St. Helens Lodge, and a man who doesn’t want to come down off the mountain. Harry drives around on the mountain roads in a pink Cadillac, sips bourbon from Coke glasses all day, and knows the mountain better than anyone. Jackson’s USGS colleagues arrive, led by the slimy “Lloyd Wagner” (Henry Darrow). As they put up roadblocks and initiate an evacuation, the conflict with local business interests escalates. Jackson gives an impassioned speech, warning the locals that they will “melt” if the volcano erupts.
Ernest Pintoff directed this 1981 film, which saw only limited release, grossing under $200,000. A single track from Goblin’s score was released on several Goblin compilation CDs.
Writer Curtis Hanson returned to the director’s chair for the 1983 youth comedy LOSIN’ IT. Although the movie was largely set in Tijuana, Mexico, none of the film was actually shot there. Doubling for Tijuana was the town of Calexico in California. Of the four movies in which Tom Cruise appeared in 1983 (the others were THE OUTSIDERS, RISKY BUSINESS, and ALL THE RIGHT MOVES), this would prove to be the least well-remembered.
Set in 1965, the film finds four rowdy teenage guys traveling to Tijuana for a night of partying when they are joined by a heartbroken housewife (Shelly Long) who is in town seeking a quick divorce. Henry Darrow plays a hard-nosed corrupt sheriff in the film.
An LP of pop songs from the film was released on Regency Records, but it contained none of Ken Wannberg’s score. LOSIN’ IT opened in New York City and Los Angeles to mostly negative reviews, earning $437,257 at 180 theaters during its debut weekend. Ultimately, the $7-million-budgeted film grossed only $1.3 million in the U.S.