Have you hugged your huggy bear today?
Right before his explosion unto the Blaxploitation film scene, Antonio Fargas (b.1946) starred in two films by Maverick Cult Filmmaker Robert Downey: Putney Swope (1969) and Pound (1970). His standout roles in those films led to parts in the great Shaft (1971) and another solid blaxploitation/crime thriller with Across 110th Street (1972)... a gritty New York film I hold very close to my heart.
Another seminal film in the genre Cleopatra Jones (1973) was next up for Fargas, and he all but stole the show. The cop thriller Busting (1974) and the moving drama Conrack (1974) were two films he made outside of the genre before he received maximum exposure as Pam Grier's brother in the big hit Foxy Brown (1974).
Fargas with his 'Foxy' Co-stars
It was then in the mid-70's when Antonio Fargas was cast in the role he's most synonymous for... Huggy Bear in the Starsky And Hutch TV series that ran from 1975 to 1979. It was the role he was born to play, and Fargas brought it like no one's business. Also on TV, Fargas appeared as Jim in Huckleberry Finn (1975) as well as countless memorable roles in series such as Kojak, Ironside, Police Woman, Kolchak, Vega$ and Charlie's Angels among many others.
He returned to the genre for a couple more times in the 70's with the excellent Cornbread, Earl And Me (1975) and Car Wash (1976)... He soon landed a high-profile role in Louis Malle's Pretty Baby (1978) which he even composed a few songs for. For the next 10 years Fargas steadily worked in Film & TV and then in 1988 he got the chance to (and very memorably so) homage his Blaxploitation past in the genre spoof I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and later with Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood (1996). The man hasn't stopped working since.
Your very own Fargas doll!
Fargas in the hilarious Blaxploitation spoof, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
And yes, those are goldfish in his shoes...
Fargas, still fly after all these years: Picture taken January 2011