The Unknown Disney Actor

Who is this actor and whatever happened to his career in Hollywood? I'm afraid I can't answer either question. You see, this struggling young actor had just scored a job at the Walt Disney Studios back in the sixties, and his career was about to take off. Or perhaps not. It's all part of the wacky world of show business. A business almost as risky as cartoon making.

I happened to be at the Disney Studio during the production of the television series, “Zorro.” Walt was eager to bring the swashbuckling hero to the small, black and white screen and I think we all anticipated what the Old Maestro was going to do with the amazing character we hadn't seen since the Spanish Don rode across the silver screen back in the forties. Walt had chosen Guy Williams to bring our hero to life. Plus, the role of the evil commandant would be played by Britt Lomond who oddly enough eventually became a successful painter. Always with an eye on humor, Walt chose the comedy team of Henry Calvin and Gene Sheldon to round out the cast. But, wait a minute! Who's the guy in costume posing in the photograph? Well, that's another story.

You see, I was a regular visitor to the Zorro set when the crew was filming on the Disney back lot. And, believe or not we had an extensive back lot in those days. There was the Spanish village near the Riverside gate and there was also a wooded area toward the rear of the lot. There was even a small river on the back lot for a time. It's amazing how many worlds could be created on a studio back lot. This is something rarely done today. However, I digress. Let's get back to the unknown actor posing in the photograph. The young actor seemed pleased to appear in a network television show and was delighted to be in costume and make up. Not being a star, he was unable to get the attention of the studio still photographer who was more interested in snapping pictures of the stars. Noticing I had a camera hidden in my jacket, (cameras were not allowed on set) he pleaded for a photograph so he would at least have a record of his first big time Hollywood movie role. Naturally, I was delighted to take his picture and send him a copy.

Since that time I've forgotten the actor's name and I don't know if he ever made it big in the movie or television business. Chances are he probably didn't. Then again, neither did I.


Guy on Zorro Set.jpg