One of the most popular series of all time is El Zorro. It does not go out of style and the rating of El Trece, which still continues to broadcast episodes on weekends, proves it. Curiously it was barely released back in 1957 in the United States its popularity was not what it would reap later.
Created by Walt Disney it is inspired by The Curse of the Capistrano an adventure novel that was published in 1919 and that did have a great immediate acceptance, becoming a bestseller. Due to its high production cost, only three seasons of El Zorro were made. Just with its completion, the repetitions began to gain greater acceptance.
The strip is set in 1820 in California and tells the story
Williams(Of Diego de la Vega Guy) who after spending three years in Spain to train academically returns home to Los Angeles. The reason for his return has to do with a request from his father Don Alejandro George Lewis concerned about the political and economic situation of the town.
However and beyond his ability and being an expert fencer he decides to hide that side and present himself to the soldiers and society as passionate about reading.
Camouflaged De la Vega begins to fight against the oppressors under the identity of El Zorro a masked horseman who appears at night. Of course like all superheroes he has at his side. To that faithful person who assists you and is unconditional. Here appears Bernardo, a role played by Gene Sheldon who had a peculiarity he was mute.
Yes, I could hear, but no one knew. Everyone in town believed he was deaf and mute. In this way, Bernardo heard the conversations learned what was going to happen, and then communicated it to Diego. He was the best spy the vigilante could have. They were a great duo.
Sheldon began in acting doing comedy and had a great knowledge of pantomime
which allowed him not only to stand out but also to make himself understood by his castmates and by the public who every day awaited a new chapter. No translation needed. With his body movements, he made the message clear and this made him one of the favorites of the producers.
Of course, he came from doing similar roles and having great recognition for that. In 1942, this off-road actor had an outstanding debut in the Broadway magazine theater in the piece Priorities, playing a comedian who did not speak and who based his time on the stage on gestures to make himself understood. Even wearing the costume of Harry Langdon, one of the most important actors in silent movies, he earned recognition from theater critics for his work.
The curious thing about Gene’s life is that despite the solvency with which he played his role as a deaf-mute, in the early years of his career he served as an announcer, standing out for a firm and clear voice. His premiere in the North American media, before discovering himself as a talented actor was doing radio.
Over the years, there were not a few who wondered why De la Vega’s assistant could not speak: the origin of his muteness was never revealed in the series. Don Diego’s previous employer was said to have cut out his tongue. However, the mystery seems to have been cleared up in Zorro, the novel by Chilean writer Isabel Allende which was released in 2005. There, more details of Bernardo’s childhood and adult life were learned.
In one of the chapters of the book
It is explained that Bernardo lost his speech after going through great trauma in his childhood. The novel tells that the farm where he lived with his parents was attacked by pirates who killed his mother.
It was a heinous crime that the boy witnessed, and it left him a wound that would cause him not to be able to articulate words for the rest of his life.
In the 50s already with a name and recognition, he began working for the Walt Disney Company chain. It was one of the favorites of the quintessential California-based production company.
Sheldon started in the Golden Horseshoe Saloon series and in the movie Where do we go from here?
With his foray into the fantastic world of Disney, he began to work with several of the actors with whom he would later come across in the fiction starring Guy Williams. For example, in the feature film based on Babes in Toyland, he shared a cast with Herny Calvin, Sergeant Garcia in El Zorro.
His private life
Gene always tried to keep her out of the exhibition. In 1944 he married Margaret Mc Cann in Las Vegas, a 14-year-old woman whom he met in her native Ohio. Margaret was 22 when they decided to legalize the relationship.
As a result of that love, two children were born: David and Tracy. The boy followed in his father’s footsteps when he grew up, and became a film producer.
On May 1, 1982, Gene Sheldon died of acute myocardial infarction. He was 74 years old and was in Tarzana, a district of Los Angeles. His wife – who died in 2008 at the age of 85 – would never form a family again. Following his request, the actor’s remains were crema