The day that Sergeant García visited Argentina and the public almost did not recognize him

The day that Sergeant García visited Argentina and the public almost did not recognize him
The day that Sergeant García visited Argentina and the public almost did not recognize him

Guy Williams and Henry Calvin on their visit to Argentina

It wasn’t the same. But not only because of the passage of time. When he arrived in Argentina in April 1973, Henry Calvin weighed 80 kilos less than your usual weight and looked visibly deteriorated. And the enormous number of people who had come to receive him in Ezeiza had a hard time recognizing him. Sergeant Garciaa character he had played in The Fox, the Disney series recorded in two seasons between 1957 and 1959 whose repetitions were all the rage in the country. It was clear that something was wrong with him. But the reality is that, by then, not even he himself knew it.

The actor from Texas had been invited by his adventure partner, Guy Williams, who had landed in Buenos Aires for the second time in the same year due to the success of the fiction of the masked man in which he starred. And she had a series of promotional activities ahead of her that included the inevitable visit to the Mirtha Legrand, which had been promoted in all the newspapers of the time. However, although his good-natured smile remained intact, he seemed tired and had little patience to attend to the thousands of fans who crowded both at the door of the hotel where he was staying and in the hallways of the channels he visited.

participated in China, Captain Pilusowas interviewed by Victor Sueiro for Teleshow and decorated the classic Having lunch with Mirtha Legrand, achieving measurements that exceeded 40 rating points. She also spearheaded several charity activities, visiting sick children in hospitals to whom they brought real joy. And she signed countless autographs. However, He was no longer the man weighing more than 150 kilos who appeared in the series. And the legend claims that, to try to hide this abysmal change of image, the producers had suggested that she use foam padding in her belly.

Guy Williams and Henry Calvin at Ezeiza airport

When they asked him about his weight loss, Henry confessed that he had managed to lose weight without dieting and that he felt happy with his current build, since it was clear that the obesity that he had carried throughout his life was not healthy. However, upon returning to the United States, he received the least expected news. He had advanced throat cancer. AND On October 6, 1975, at just 57 years of age, he died in his homeland without being able to fulfill his promise to return to Argentina..

Calvin was born on May 25, 1918 in Dallas, under the name Wimberly Calvin Goodman. Owner of a privileged voice, from a very young age he dedicated himself to singing, standing out in the children’s choir of the Baptist Church to which he attended along with his parents. And, after his time in public school, he went to Southern Methodist University, and then began studying theater in New York.

However, at just 21 years old and when he had started working at Radio City Music Hall, in 1939 Henry had to abandon his career, since the United States Army had begun to recruit soldiers to send to Europe, where they were starting World War II. He rose to First Lieutenant in the Field Artillery front who served in the Pacific Ocean fighting the Japanese in 1945. And he was remembered with honors for that.

Henry Calvin as Sergeant Garcia

The truth is that, once the war ended, Calvin resumed his artistic path. And, in the late ’40s and early ’50s, he began to make it big on Broadway with plays like The Chocolate Soldier, Sally, Happy as Larry, Howdy Doody and Kismetamong other. He also had a radio show on NBC. And, after signing a contract with United Artist Studios, he moved to Los Angeles to land on the big screen with two films: Crime Against Joe and The Broken Star.

Then came the proposal that would change his life forever. Given his physiognomy, Henry was the ideal actor to play Demetrio Lopez Garciathe beloved sergeant who would never catch The Fox. And he did not hesitate to join Disney to be part of the project that catapulted him to worldwide fame as the antagonist of the handsome Williams. Of course, after two seasons and a series of specials that were recorded in 1960, the fiction ended. And the difficult task of moving forward away from the character began for him.

After a legal conflict over the rights of the beloved officer on whom he had put his imprint, Calvin participated in productions such as Ten weeks in the circus and Babes in Toyland. Worked on the film The Ship of Evil. And he was a guest actor on television shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Petticoat Junction, The CIPOL agent and The girl from CIPOL. But, inevitably, people continued to see García in him.

Sergeant García with Corporal Reyes

That is why she accepted Guy’s invitation, with whom she had an excellent relationship, to travel to Argentina. And, if it had not been for his illness, it was most likely that he would follow in the footsteps of his friend and return to the country to recreate the adventures of the masked man in the local circuses and theaters. However, fate did not allow it. Today, Henry’s remains rest at Grove Hill Memorial Park in Dallas. And the memory of him is still present every day on the ElTrece screen, where more than six decades after its premiere it continues to be successfully repeated. The Fox.

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