Gregory Sierra dies, famous for his role in crime serials and sitcoms
A professional with hundreds of appearances in his career. He played Anglo-Latino roles in all kinds of sitcoms and police series throughout the 70s and 80s.
On Jan. 24, Helene Tabor confirmed the death of her husband and well-known actor Gregory Sierra, known for his roles in A.E.S Hudson, Soap, and Miami Vice. He passed away on Jan. 4 from cancer at 83 years old in Laguna Woods, California.
Sierra was born in New York in 1937, and of Puerto Rican descent. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters, and a granddaughter in California.
Tabor recounted his grueling battle with cancer to CNN and his eventual loss.
"He was quite wonderful and my heart is broken into four hundred million pieces," she said.
Retired since 2018, Sierra can be considered a career formula actor, who catapulted his height and profile to prominence in the 1970s in crime serials. In his youth, he trained his talents in the world of theater, working with the National Shakespeare Company.
He played Julio Fuentes, the Puerto Rican neighbor of the protagonists in Sanford and Son from 1972 to 1975, during which he also appeared as a radical Jew in All in the Family.
Sierra later played a detective in Barney Miller and a lieutenant in Miami Vice in the 80s.
But he also had room in his repertoire for comedy.
In the 70s, Sierra was cast in A.E.S. Hudson and in the parody Soap. His career continued for two decades, playing cops and criminals, always within the television framework that danced from the boom of forensic and police series to amusing characters in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Greatest American Hero, and Hot Shots! Part Deux.
As a professional of the small screen, he was never closed to other roles and also took on small roles in fiction projects such as The X-Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and Vampires.
Through dozens of small cameos in serials such as MacGyver, Columbo and Hawaii Five-O, genre fans became accustomed to his bushy sideburns well into the new millennium, which also includes musical collaborations with Bill Dana and José Jiménez.
Sierra leaves a legacy in the golden age of television that actors and viewers now bid farewell.