Sunday, October 26, 2008

Zorro at Disneyland!

Back in the day, “Zorro” was all the rage. Think Indiana Jones. Jack Sparrow. Yep...that big. Walt needed more money from ABC to pump into Disneyland, so he came up with the Zorro series and gave Guy Williams (Zorro) a serious boost to his career. Fred Cavens was hired to coach Williams in the art of fencing, as he had done previously for Tyrone Power and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Unfortunately, the singing could not be taught, and Williams was dubbed by Bill Lee, who would later dub for Christopher Plummer in “The Sound of Music.” “Zorro” was a hit and ran for 2 seasons, spawning a merchandise frenzy as well as many personal appearances by the cast at Disneyland. The first photo was actually sold at Jimmy Starr’s Show Business shop in Town Square. These other photos are from slides taken at Disneyland showing Sergeant Garcia (Henry Calvin) at the Golden Horseshoe and Zorro (Guy Williams) fencing with Captain Monastero (Britt Lomand) atop the Mark Twain.

What amazes me most is that the actual stars of “Zorro” appeared multiple times at the park...not stand-ins, not doubles...the real enchilada. Can you imagine Harrison Ford or Johnny Depp coming to the park, performing in characters, and shaking hands with guests? Not only would it never happen today, it just couldn’t. Security for such a thing would be impossible, not to mention the amount of money that Disney would have to pay these actors. Times were so much simpler back then. Unfortunately, a legal dispute between ABC & Disney prevented any more episodes from being aired, and “Zorro” became a part of TV history. Guy Williams found himself the star of another series: “Lost in Space.”

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The Viewliner Limited said...

One of my all-time favorite Disney shows. Great pics.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Fantastic historical post. I love the information from when there were special days and visitors to Disneyland.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow pretty neat! They didn't just walk around, they put on a whole show!

Heidi Ann said...

I love Guy Williams (in both shows) - SO handsome! I was tickled to find the Zorro ring my husband sent for when he was a little boy here in the house he grew up in.