Zorro's 100th Anniversary

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of ZORRO! Zorro made his debut in the 1919 novel The Curse of Capistrano, by Johnston McCulley. On this day it appeared in "All Story Weekly" magazine. The success of the 1920 film adaptation starring Douglas Fairbanks convinced McCulley to write more Zorro stories and the character was featured in a total of five serialized stories and 57 short stories, the last one appearing in 1959, the year after McCulley's death. The Curse of Capistrano eventually sold more than 50 million copies. The character also appears in over 40 films and in ten TV series, the most famous being the Walt Disney-produced Zorro series of 1957–59, starring Guy Williams (my favorite incarnation of the character). Being one of the earliest examples of a fictional masked avenger with a double identity, Zorro inspired the creation of several similar characters in pulp magazines and other media, and is a precursor of comic book superheroes like Batman! HAPPY 100TH ANNIVERSARY TO ZORRO!!!

When I was a kid, the greatest TV hero in my life was WALT DISNEY'S ZORRO, starring the dashing GUY WILLIAMS as ZORRO. Disney poured a ton of money into the new series for the still-relatively-new medium of television, and the series still holds up beautifully thanks to its wonderful writing, direction, art direction and overall production value. Over the years, I've made it a point to meet as many of the DISNEY'S ZORRO cast members as possible. The high point has been meeting Guy Williams' son, Guy Catalano, and actually getting to hold the original SWORD of ZORRO used by Guy Williams in the series!


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