Gregory Sierra movie list

Lanky, balding, intense American character actor of Puerto Rican ancestry, born in New York's Spanish Harlem. Deserted by his parents, Sierra was brought up by an aunt in a rough, predominantly Irish neighbourhood from the age of six. Though briefly tempted by gang life as a teenager, he took up acting classes after accompanying a friend to an audition and ended up playing Shakespearean roles with the National Shakespeare Company and in the New York Shakespeare Festival (playing, among many other parts, Macbeth and Romeo), as well as appearing off-Broadway. He later said "I would have been happy if I continued to do that for the rest of my life". However, in 1969, Sierra decided to move to Hollywood and began acting in episodic television where he was initially typecast as Latino heavies or cops. Sierra made his breakthrough in the role of Julio Fuentes on NBC's Sanford and Son (1972), his character the perennial butt of bigoted jokes from the show's cantankerous lead, played by Redd Foxx. He then appeared in the original cast of the police sitcom Barney Miller (1975) as the passionate, proudly Puerto Rican Detective Sergeant Chano Amenguale. Written out of the show at the end of season two, he had further recurring roles in serial television, frequently alternating between comedy and drama. These included the short-lived hospital sitcom A.E.S. Hudson Street (1977), the controversial but hugely popular parody Soap (1977) (as South American counter-revolutionary "El Puerco"), Hill Street Blues (1981) (as Assistant District Attorney Alvarez), Zorro and Son (1983) (as garrison commander Paco Pico, one of the hero's chief antagonists), Miami Vice (1984) (as Don Johnson's erstwhile boss Lou Rodriguez, killed off by a hitman in episode four -- in fact, Sierra opted to leave the show because he disliked Miami) and the science fiction series Something Is Out There (1988) (as Captain Victor Maldonado). His numerous, varied and often highly entertaining guest appearances have included supporting roles as a Native American renegade on Gunsmoke (1955), a mutated religious leader living underneath irradiated New York in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), a professor of anthropology helping Mulder and Scully track down the Jersey Devil in The X Files (1993), a Cardassian member of the sinister Obsidian Order on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), an Italian priest in John Carpenter's Vampires (1998) and an Iraqi gunboat captain in the Rambo spoof Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993). Sierra made his home in Laguna Beach, California, where he died of cancer on January 4 2021 at the age of 83.
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