1 9 7 6 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Viva Valdez was the story of a Chicano family (long before the preferred term became ‘Latino’), living in a changing world and attempting to hold on to a few traditional Mexican values amidst all of that change.
The Valdez family lived in East Los Angeles at 3631/2 La Hambre Street (“hungry street”) and shopped at the Zamora Brothers Mexican Food Store.
The patriarch of the family, Luis (Rodolfo Hoyos), had a plumbing business, and his eldest son, Victor (James Victor), worked with him. Luis was married to Sophia (Carmen Zapata).
There were two other Valdez children; boy-crazy teen cheerleader leader Connie (Lisa Mordente) and artistic, slick ladies’ man Ernesto (Nelson D. Cuevas).
Two cousins also visited frequently; 12-year-old Pepe (Claudio Martinez), who wanted nothing more than to play professional baseball, and Jerry (Jorge Cervera Jr), who had just arrived from Mexico and spoke very little English. One of the early episodes, ‘My Fair Jerry’, focused on him.
Other episodes included ‘Father and Son Day’, ‘The Nurse’s Pipes’, ‘Nervous Breakup’ and ‘The Apprentice’ (the final episode).
The ABC show was produced by Phil Mishkin and Alan Rafkin and only 12 of the 13 recorded episodes aired.
Nelson D. Cuevas
Jorge Cervera Jr