Latino playwright, actor on 'The Electric Company.'
Luis Avalos, 67, a Cuban American actor who had a regular role as Dr. Doolats on the 1970s public television children's series "The Electric Company" and later was active in Los Angeles' theater scene, died Wednesday of heart failure at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, according to spokesman John Echeveste.
Avalos joined the ensemble cast of "The Electric Company" in 1972, the second season of the
Avalos went on to land guest appearances in "Kojak," "Soap," "
In 1992 Avalos wrote, produced, directed and starred in "El Regalo de Paquito" or "Paquito's Gift," a Christmas family special for the Spanish-language
Avalos was born in Havana on Sept. 2, 1946, and as an infant moved to New York, where his parents were factory workers. He studied acting at
He often said in interviews that he turned down many roles because they negatively portrayed Latinos.
"But I hate to turn down work," he said in a 1987 San Diego Union-Tribune story, "because the same producer may have a good role next time, and won't offer it to you.... Hispanics are an important part of the fabric of this nation, but they have a long way to go. Kids need to see images that are positive, not just to be shown as a busboy."
Times staff and wire reports