Actor and director Luis Avalos, best known for his stint on the PBS children's television show "The Electric Company," died Jan. 22 at age 67.
He is considered a pioneer for Hispanics in the entertainment industry for his early appearances in mainstream media during the 1970s. Mr. Avalos, born in Cuba, directed noted films in the U.S. and Mexico, including the Inca classic, "Ollantay -- Warrior of the Sun" (2004). It was a play set in 15th-century Cuzco, Peru, based on a manuscript written in Quechua and Spanish that dates back to the 18th century.
He also wrote, directed and produced "El Regalo de Paquito" (1993), for which he was nominated for a Best Director Emmy.
In 2000, Mr. Avalos founded the Americas Theatre Arts Foundation in Los Angeles, and later became its artistic director. The foundation supported U.S. productions of Latin American-inspired drama, and provided venues for school children to experience live professional theater presentations, according to a press release.
The actor's musical "Paquito's Christmas," which premiered in 1994, earned the Hispanic Association of Media Arts and Sciences Annual Achievement in Theater Award and the 2002 Imagen Award for Best Theatrical Production.
Other work of Mr. Avalos includes the 1979 comedy "Hot Stuff," in which he starred alongside Jerry Reed, Dom DeLuise and Suzanne Pleshette; the 1983 series "Condo"; "The Ringer" with Johnny Knoxville; and multiple guest spots on TV shows such as "Soap," "Fame," "E.R." and "NYPD Blue."
The last film work Avalos worked on was the movie "$5 a Day," in 2008 alongside Christopher Walken and Sharon Stone, according to La Opinion.
To view a list of his entire portfolio, click here.
Here's a clip of "The Electric Company" with Mr. Avalos playing alongside actor Morgan Freeman:
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