Luis Avalos, the Cuban-born character actor best known for his work on the PBS kids show The Electric Company, died Wednesday after suffering a recent heart attack. He was 67.
Avalos played Doctor Doolots — a composite of Doctor Dolittle and Groucho Marx who used words to cure his patients — and many other characters on the show. He came on board in 1972 during the second season and remained part of the cast until Electric Company wrapped in 1977.
The Havana native also appeared as Dr. Thomas Esquivel on 21 episodes of the NBC drama ER and as Principal Rivas on the ABC comedy Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, and he had regular roles on the series Condo, I Had Three Wives and Resurrection Blvd. Other shows on which he appeared included The Jeffersons, Soap, Full House, Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, Jack & Bobby and JAG.
His film résumé included The Butcher’s Wife (1991) with Demi Moore, Hot Stuff (1979) with Dom DeLuise, Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) with Tim Allen, Hollywood Homicide (2003) with Harrison Ford, The Ringer (2005) with Johnny Knoxville and $5 a Day with Christopher Walken.
In 2000, Avalos founded the Americas Theatre Arts Foundation in Los Angeles and served as its artistic director to support productions of Latin American-inspired dramas.