Veteran character actor Rafael Campos, who got his start in the role of a juvenile delinquent in "Blackboard Jungle," has died at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital, a spokeswoman for the Woodland Hills facility confirmed Wednesday. He was 49.
Campos, who died Tuesday, had been at the hospital since last December, when stomach cancer was diagnosed.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Campos came to the United States in 1949, studied acting for a time and was spotted by film writer and director Richard Brooks, who cast him with other unknown young actors--including Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow--in "Blackboard Jungle," a 1955 release starring Glenn Ford as a besieged inner-city schoolteacher. Campos played a young Puerto Rican.
He went on to other features films, including "The Trial" (1955), "The Appaloosa" (1966) and "Oklahoma Crude" (1973). He also appeared in numerous television parts, including a recurring role in "Rhoda" and the "Centennial" miniseries.
In his later years, Campos worked as a writer and director. At the time of his illness, he was writing a book about Latinos in film and had recently directed a play in New York.