American Graffiti & Tarzan Actor - Ma...

American Graffiti & Tarzan Actor - Manuel Padilla Jr.

There are 2 comments on the Alabama Live story from Feb 9, 2008, titled American Graffiti & Tarzan Actor - Manuel Padilla Jr.. In it, Alabama Live reports that:

Posted by Jeff Burson February 07, 2008 8:03 PM Can you believe this is the 35th anniversary of George Lucas' American Graffiti? My sister took me to see it at the Green Spring's Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama. via Alabama Live

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Alabama Live.

Movie Lover

Clyde, TX

#1 Jun 2, 2008
In the film the character played by Richard Dreyfuss is "kidnapped" by a street gang called the Pharaohs. A member of this gang is a short Hispanic teen called Carlos. One of my favorite lines in the film is spouted by him has he yell as the radio while they are driving around, " You tell'em Wolfman! He's my man. When I graduate, I'm gonna be a Wolfman."

That actor who played Carlos was Manuel Padilla Jr. He has taken his Final Taxi as the age of 51.

Padilla made a name for himself long before this classic film. For years his was a child actor playing the Mexican or Indian boy is TV westerns like Rawhide, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke.

He played in two different Tarzan movies and was chosen to play as a regular cast member on the Tarzan TV show ( 1966-1968). Padilla played a orphan named Jai, who was adopted by Tarzan ( played by Ron Ely). He was the envy of any boy who watched the show. Who would not want to play with animals and swing from one tree to another in your underwear all day?

After Tarzan, Padilla became a regular on the Sally Field's TV show, The Flying Nun. He played the part of Marcello, the little boy who befriend Sister Bertrille on the series.

He appeared in over 30 films and TV shows. Other notable credits include The Great White Hope, A Man Called Horse, Joseph Wambaugh's Police Story and Happy Days. Padilla even reprised his role as American Graffiti's Carlos in the sequel , More American Graffiti.
His final film was Brian De Palma's "Scarface" where he was listed as was credited as "Kid No. 2."

Manuel Padilla Jr died unexpectedly just after making a public appearance at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California.
Daren Bourns

West Monroe, LA

#2 Jun 14, 2008
I have wondered for years what happened to him. I am still waiting for Ron Ely's Tarzan to come out on dvd. This show was a classic, even though Tarzan did not call for the animals too often. Padilla's innocent faced Jai was done to perfection. They do not make shows like this anymore. It is truly a shame.

Goodybye Manuel. You will always be young Jai to me, from a time when television was innocent and a hero, his son and pet monkey always saved the day.

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