Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Guy Williams was Zorro before he was Will Cartwright.

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Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:16 pm

By the time the Zorro series came along, the Disney name was a proven ratings draw, and no pilot was needed. Walt immediately set to work on a search for someone to play Zorro. This was a much sought after role, for Disney's success with Davy Crockett was not lost on a host of other actors who could only dream of being the Studio's next Fess Parker. More than 20 actors were tested for the part, including Hugh O'Brian, John Lupton, Jack Kelly, Dennis Weaver and David Janssen. On April 18, 1957, the Studio held a screen test for a relatively unknown actor, Guy Williams. When Walt saw the results, he knew he had found his Zorro. (There will be much more on this in the upcoming biography of Guy Williams).

Stay tuned for other actors cast in the show!



Image


What is your opinion of Guy Williams playing the parts of Don Diego and Zorro?


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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by barb » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:23 pm

Looking at that picture, no one but Guy Williams could have been Zorro. He was Zorro.. :hearts :zorro



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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by swgirl » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:12 am

I agree Barb!

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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by January » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:32 am

I have only recently discoverd the Zorro series, thanks to the release of season 1 on DVD. I LOVE it. Guy, to me, is the only "guy" who could play Zorro. He was so suave and sophistated and I just loved whenever he fought, he had a big smile :grin and it showed off his nice white teeth.
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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:03 pm

Throughout his exploits, Diego could always count on the assistance of his faithful manservant, Bernardo. Bernardo, who was mute, decided to help Diego by pretending to be deaf as well. This allowed Bernardo to secretly listen in on conversations and report back to Diego. Bernardo also came to the rescue several times by dressing as Zorro, which allowed Diego to be seen in the same place as Zorro, thereby eliminating suspicion that he might be the masked avenger.

Bernardo was played by Gene Sheldon, who brought his past experience as a pantomimist to his portrayal of the silent servant. A versatile performer with experience in radio, vaudeville, Broadway and films, Sheldon was signed to a long-term contract for Zorro which eventually led to several other films for the Studio.



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(Gene Sheldon as Bernardo)

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(Gene Sheldon and Guy Williams in Zorro)
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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by January » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:18 pm

Are you saying that Bernardo and Guy had the same Silhouette? :lol

They can fool them, but they couldn't fool me. :lol
Actually, the way Bernardo let himself be seen, being as "quick" as he was, it surely worked. He DID look like Zorro. Good idea on the writers part.

I thought Bernardo was so great playing the part that he did. I laughed and laughed. They don't make em like they used to, do they? :no
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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by barb » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:19 pm

I thought the character of Bernardo was great. He was so loyal and devoted to Zorro.
Mr. Sheldon did an excellent job portraying the character. His facial expressions and body language were wonderful.

Pine, I didn't know Mr. Sheldon had been a pontomimist, or that he had such a variety of entertainment experience. No wonder he could relate so much, without speaking. Really interesting.


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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:56 pm

barb wrote: Pine, I didn't know Mr. Sheldon had been a pontomimist, or that he had such a variety of entertainment experience. No wonder he could relate so much, without speaking. Really interesting.
Barb
I found that interesting too, Barb!

Here is how Gene got started in show business, lol:

Gene Sheldon was born Eugene Hume on February 8, 1908 in Columbus, Ohio. His father, Earl, was a stage magician. As a youngster, Gene got stage experience serving as his father's assistant (dressed as a girl) and later he honed his talent as a pantomimist (mime). Like his Zorro co-star and friend, Henry Calvin, Gene had wide experience and great success in all major aspects of the entertainment field, radio, stage, movies and television.

And here are two different (although they start out the same) perfomances of his:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5OfaukAb50

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVChum4-RYY

Be sure to watch the one from the Perry Como show all the way to the end!

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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by barb » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:45 pm

Wow Pine! I think I remember seeing him on some of the old variety shows when I was a kid, but I didn't know he was the same guy that played Bernardo on Zorro. He was so good!! I miss those variety shows that use to be on TV. It was such a great way to showcase talent.
Thanks for posting these.


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Re: Casting Disney's Zorro Series

Post by A Ponderosa Pine » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:52 pm

You are welcome, Barb! I was thinking the same thing about missing the old variety shows on TV; we grew up during a wonderful era of TV programing!!

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