AceShowbiz - U.S. TV veteran Gregory Sierra has died, aged 83.
The actor, who appeared on beloved shows "Sanford and Son" and "Barney Miller", lost his battle with cancer on 4 January, according to a family spokesman. His death was made public over the weekend.
"He was the most wonderful person," his wife Helene Taber remembered her late husband. "He was a good heart and a brilliant actor."
Actor Edward James Olmos also paid tribute to Sierra, posting on Twitter that those who knew Sierra admired his laughter, kindness, wit and "extraordinary artistic ability." Olmos described Sierra as a friend, a mentor and "a force of nature that I was so grateful to have known & worked with," before adding, "RIP."
Born in New York, Sierra worked with the National Shakespeare Company and also appeared in off-Broadway plays before moving to Los Angeles in the late 1960s and landing roles on shows like "The High Chaparral", "Mod Squad", and "Kung Fu" and films "Beneath the Planet of the Apes", "Papillon" and "The Towering Inferno".
He was cast as Julio Fuentes on "Sanford and Son" in 1972, and three years later he was a regular on another TV favorite, playing Sgt. Miguel 'Chano' Amenguale on "Barney Miller".
He continued to pile up TV credits throughout the 1980s and 1990s with roles on "Hill Street Blues", "Miami Vice" and "Murder, She Wrote", while his film career also features appearances in "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid", "Hot Shots! Part Deux" and "Mafia!".