"The High Chaparral" made its debut in September of 1967 and was on the air for four seasons. According to the promo kit produced by the NBC Television Network, it "traced the adventures of the Cannon family in their struggle to maintain a cattle ranch in the rugged Arizona desert. The time was the 1870's -- an era when survival meant a fight against the elements as well as renegade Indians and outlaws". Leif Erickson starred as John Cannon, the father and head of the family. Appearing with him were Cameron Mitchell as his brother, Buck Cannon; Linda Cristal as his wife, Victoria; Mark Slade as his son, Billy Blue, and Henry Darrow as Manolito, Victoria's brother. In addition to the family members, there were the "bunkhouse boys": Don Collier as ranch foreman, Sam Butler; Bob Hoy as Sam's brother, Joe Butler; Ted Markland as Reno, Roberto Contreras as Pedro, Jerry Summers as Ira, Rodolfo Acosta as Vaquero, and in the fourth season, Rudy Ramos as Wind. Frank Silvera made frequent appearances as Victoria and Manolito's father, Don Sebastian Montoya. The western-action series also boasted such guest stars as Gilbert Roland, Fernando Lamas, Ricardo Montalban, Robert Lansing, Barry Sullivan, Victor Jory, Alejandro Rey, Albert Salmi, Robert Loggia, Kevin McCarthy, Pat Hingle, Jack Kelly, Ralph Meeker, and Chief Dan George.
Henry portrayed Manolito Montoya, the only son of a wealthy Sonoran haciendado. His sister married John Cannon as part of a mutual protection agreement between Cannon and his father, and Mano accompanied them back to the High Chaparral to assure that she was treated properly. Although he was part of the family, he got along well with the "bunkhouse boys" and did his share of the work as though he were one of them. Never one to miss a chance to enjoy himself, he could be counted on for trips to Tucson for some rest and relaxation. An acknowledged "ladies' man", Mano usually found himself an accommodating señorita to help while away his leisure-time hours. Only twice in the entire series did he ever find himself actually in love to the point of proposing marriage: one of the ladies chose the convent instead of him and the other died tragically. His father despaired of him ever truly growing up, but beneath the happy-go-lucky attitude and behind the laughing brown eyes, there dwelt a man of fierce honor, loyalty and bravery. He never hesitated to come to the aid of a friend, stuck to his convictions, and often endangered his own life to save someone else's.
His endearing -- and enduring -- portrayal of Manolito made Henry popular not only in the U.S., but in Europe as well. He won a "Bambi" award -- the German equivalent of an "Emmy" award -- for his depiction of Mano. It is probably the single most-remembered role of his career -- even though they may not know his real name, many people can still remember him as the actor who portrayed Manolito. Click here to see the Manolito Photo Gallery, here to see the Manolito Photo Gallery II, or here to see the Manolito Photo Gallery III.
More than thirty years later, the series still has a faithful following, but is not airing anywhere in the world. Please see the links below if you'd like to sign a petition to have "The High Chaparral" released on DVD.
If you'd like to visit some web sites featuring "The High Chaparral" or its cast members, just click on the links below. The first site, The High Chaparral, is an absolute must for all THC fans: it's full of facts, photos, episode synopses, character descriptions, fan fiction, publicity photo stills, trivia, even the lyrics to the HC theme song and information on the horses used in the series! It also has links to other sites featuring Westerns.
Click on the photo to see cast member's names.
The Cannon Family Photos
The Bunkhouse Boys Photos
The Bunkhouse Boys II Photos
The link above will take you to a petition in English to have "The High Chaparral" released on DVD. Petitions are also available in the following languages:
This page last updated: July 07, 2005 ~ Copyright © The Henry Darrow Fan Club 1999-2005