Character thesp played Lt. Escobar in 'Chinatown'

Perry Lopez, hardworking character actor who played Lt. Lou Escobar in “Chinatown,” died of lung cancer Feb. 14 in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 78.

Born in New York, Lopez started on the New York stage and moved into B-movies and Westerns including “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” “The Lone Ranger” and “The Young Guns.” He then segued to TV roles in “Zorro,” “The Rifleman,” “Bonanza” and “Wagon Train.” Usually cast in Hispanic roles, he was also called upon to play Persian in “Omar Khayyam” and a Cossack in “Taras Bulba.”

Among his other film appearances were “Mister Roberts” and Chinatown sequel “The Two Jakes”; on TV he appeared on “The Mod Squad,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Star Trek” and “Hart to Hart.”

He is survived by several nieces and nephews.

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