Pop Culture: Chico and the Man
Freddie Prinze on Chico and the Man
From 1974 to 1977, Freddie Prinze starred in the hit television series Chico and the Man—the first U.S. television series set in a Mexican-American neighborhood. Prinze played Francisco "Chico" Rodriguez, an upbeat, optimistic Chicano man looking for work in an East Los Angeles barrio. Chico meets Ed Brown (Jack Albertson), the cantankerous owner of a run down garage, and the two form a special friendship. The chemistry between Prinze and Albertson helped make the show a hit. After struggling with depression and drug use, Prinze shot himself on January 28, 1977 and died of his injuries the following day at the age of 22. The last episode to star Prinze, "Ed Talks to God", was taped several hours before he shot himself.