Jun 18, 2013
Chico and the Man: Anglo-Hispanic Gay Couple
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is elderly, crotchety, widowed, and depressed -- until Chico (Freddie Prinze) arrives, looking for a job and a place to live. At first the bigoted Anglo rebuffs Chico with ethnic slurs and general nastiness -- but Chico likes Ed -- a lot -- so he keeps coming back, keeps trying, until finally, his resistance lowered, Ed allows himself to love again. Um...I mean, the two become friends.
The world was shocked when the superstar, who had just signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with NBC, committed suicide on January 28, 1977. Stories appeared about depression, drug abuse, marital estrangement.
NBC bizarrely tried to continue Chico and the Man without him. They finished up the third season with Chico "visiting his father in Mexico," and then had Ed meeting and adopting the preteen Raul (Gabriel Melgar). But in one episode, Raul finds Chico's old guitar, and Ed explains that it belonged to someone he loved who died. He's been widowed twice.
A tv movie about Freddie's life appeared in 1979: Can You Hear the Laughter? The Freddie Prinze Story, starring Ira Angustain.