The prolific character actor best remembered for his role as Crazy Cat from F Troop has passed away at the age of 90. Don Diamond had been fighting Parkinson’s disease and other medical issues.
Diamond frequently played Mexican or Native American characters but his father was a first generation immigrant from Russia. Diamond studied drama at the University of Michigan and later earned a commission in the US Army Air Corps. He as fluent in Yiddish already and learned Spanish while stationed in New Mexico during the second World War.
When he was discharged in 1946, he started acting on radio and frequently played Mexicans or Spaniards. This led to him being cast in The Adventures of Kit Carson TV show and then as Corp. Reyes in the 1950s Zorro TV series. The latter would signal the start of his long association with Zorro. He voiced characters for the 1980s animated series (The New Adventures of Zorro) and also appeared in the live-action Zorro and Son series.
In 1965, he was cast as Crazy Cat in ABC’s F Troop, the flamboyant right-hand brave to Frank DeKova’s hot-tempered Chief Wild Eagle. One of that sitcom’s most popular characters, Crazy Cat would often plot about how he would one day take over as chief.
Diamond also guest-starred on numerous TV shows during the 1960s, 70s and 80s; most notably The Flying Nun, Love American Style, The Big Valley, Rawhide, Newhart, and Our House (his final credited TV role).
He also had a very successful career in commercials and voicing cartoon characters. He performed in shows like Devlin, The Pink Panther Show, and the Tijuana Toads shorts.
Diamond is survived by his wife, Louisa, and three daughters.
What do you think? How will you remember the work of Don Diamond?