My First (Latino) TV Hero…Zorro!

Growing up Latino in the ‘80s (well half; half-Latino, half-growing up), there was a lack of figures to look up to on TV. Sure, Ricky Ricardo was pretty cool, but the Babalu-er was not exactly badass. The only other characters for me to identify with were Speedy Gonzalez and Slowpoke Rodriguez (who I retroactively believe to be on crack and marijuana, respectively). Then, my grandmother introduced me to “Zorro.”

Equal parts Lone Ranger (with mask and horseback skills intact), swashbuckler (sword-fighting – even in the advent of guns!) and dark knight (cape, double life, clad in black), this suave hero would fight for the underdog of 1820s’ California while keeping his hat on and his moustache thin.

Don Diego de la Vega (even the NAME sounds cool) was one smooth non-criminal as Zorro. Honestly, if asked for plotlines to any episode, I’d probably draw a blank, but his “Z” mark was nonetheless made; I dressed as Zorro for let’s say “a few” Halloweens and always felt cool doing so.

Zorro has been animated, colorized, revived and even brought to big screen with an actual Latino (Antonio Banderas) assuming the masked avenger’s role, but the original TV series starring Guy Williams (later of “Lost in Space”) will always have a place in my moustache.


Mashismo was a bicentennial baby and a child of the '80s. He grew into his ears and out of his awkward phase (glasses AND headgear!), but never truly grew up.
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