Bad news has come into today that the wonderful film and television actor Gregory Sierra has died.
Apparently, Sierra died Jan. 4 in Laguna Woods, California, from cancer, according to a family spokesman. His death just became public today. He was 83 years old.
Sierra was best known for his two major roles in 1970’s sitcoms Sanford and Son as well as Barney Miller.
He was born and grew up in New York’s Spanish Harlem where he participated in off Broadway plays in the mid-60’s. He moved to Hollywood and appeared in TV shows in the late 60’s and early 70’s such as It Takes a Thief 1969, The High Chaparral 1970, Mod Squad 1970, Mission: Impossible 1972, The Waltons 1973, Ironside 1973, All in the Family 1973, and others. During the mid-70’s and 1980’s he appeared in most of the top rated shows of that era including Kung Fu 1973, The Streets of San Francisco 1973, Hawaii Five-O 1973, Columbo 1974, Gunsmoke 1975, Soap 1980, Lou Grant 1982, Hill Street Blues 1983, Miami Vice 1984, and several others.
Sierra also appeared in such notable feature films as Papillon 1973, The Towering Inferno 1974, The Prisoner of Zenda 1979, Deep Cover 1992. and more.
He had a few notable genre appearances in Beneath the Planet of the Apes 1970, The Clones 1973, The Munsters Today (TV Series) 1988, Something Is Out There (TV Series) 1988, The X-Files (TV Series) 1993, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (TV Series) 1994, John Carpenter’s Vampires 1998, and Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (TV Series) 1998.
He is survived by his wife, Helene. No memorial plans have been announced.
Gregory Sierra was a familiar face to those of us that grew up watching TV in the 70’s and 80’s and it was comforting seeing him in so many great roles in TV and film. He will not soon be forgotten.
Condolences go out to Gregory Sierra’s friends, family, and fans at this time.