Antonio Fargas

Antonio Fargas

Born in New York City to a Puerto Rican father and Trinidadian mother, Antonio Fargas developed a love of acting at a very young age. His first on-screen role came in 1963, when, at the age of 14, he landed a small part in "The Cool World," director Shirley Clark's gritty crime drama about African-American teenagers in New York's Harlem. After nabbing a bit part on "Ironside" (NBC 1967-75), Fargas landed his breakout role in director Robert Downey Sr.'s cult comedy "Putney Swope" (1969). His role as "The Arab" in that film put Fargas on the radar of director Gordon Parks, who proceeded to cast the young actor in his 1971 Blaxploitation action film "Shaft." The huge success of that film made Fargas a marketable name in the burgeoning Blaxploitation genre, and over the next few years he appeared in some of the genre's most memorable films, including "Across 110th Street," "Cleopatra Jones" (1973), and "Foxy Brown." By the mid-'70s, however, the Blaxploitation genre was beginning to wear thin on the public, but luckily for Fargas, he was able to leverage his star-power into what would become the defining role of his career. As Huggy Bear on ABC's "Starsky & Hutch," Fargas played an endearing street informant with a penchant for flashy clothes. The role made Fargas an overnight star, and by the end of the series' four season run in 1979, Huggy Bear had become one of the most recognizable characters on network television. Although his career would never quite reach the heights of his "Starsky & Hutch" days, Fargas continued to act throughout the ensuing decades. He landed a recurring part on the daytime soap "All My Children" (ABC 1970-2011), and made a memorable cameo in the Blaxploitation spoof, "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," playing a 1970s-vintage street hustler whose outfit included a pair of platform shoes with live goldfish in the heels. It was during the '80s and '90s that Fargas also began turning his attention to the stage. He appeared in Melvin Van Peebles' "Ain't Suppose to Die a Natural Death," as well as numerous Off-Broadway productions. Fargas later nabbed a recurring part on Chris Rock's semi-autobiographical sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris" (The CW 2005-09). Fargas continued to act in movies well into the 2010s, with an appearance as an Army major in the Christmas movie "Silver Bells" (2013).


Guest Appearances