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ANTONIO FARGAS - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - APRIL 8th, 2014 - 7:00 pm PST

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Antonio Juan Fargas was born on August 14, 1946, in New York City, to a Puerto Rican father and a Trinidadian mother.  He and his ten siblings grew up in a housing project on Manhattan's Lower West Side.  Fargas's father was a garbage man who later worked in public relations, and his mother, Fargas told Boston Herald reporter Paul Sullivan, "was a great domestic engineer.... There was always bread on the table, not in abundance, but we always had what we needed."
When Fargas was a sophomore in high school in 1961, he noticed a story in New York's Amsterdam News saying that auditions were being held for an independent film called Cool World.  He got the part. Around the same time, Fargas was a member of a youth group called Harlem Youth Opportunities Limited that offered theater programs to aspiring actors.  After receiving instruction from actor Robert Hooks in Hooks’ apartment, which wasn't far from that of Fargas's family, he got a part in an off-Broadway stage production called The Toilet in 1963.
Early in his career, Fargas was known primarily as a stage actor. He made the first of what would become a lifetime's worth of trips to England in 1965 to appear in the play The Amen Corner, and he won positive reviews back in New York two years later when he appeared as Scipio in the original Broadway production of The Great White Hope, a play about the life of boxer Jack Johnson.  Just 20 years old, Fargas convincingly played the part of a 90-year-old witch doctor. Fargas also made notable appearances in a 1968 New York Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo and Juliet and in the 1969 play Ceremonies in Dark Old Men.

 

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