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Rolando Barral, 62; Actor, Talk Show Host

January 24, 2002

Rolando Barral, a Cuban-born actor and talk show host who was once considered the Johnny Carson of Spanish-language television, died in Miami on Monday of complications following surgery for a brain aneurysm. He was 62.

One of Cuba's most prominent leading men before fleeing to the United States in 1962, Barral starred in dozens of Spanish-language soap operas before becoming a television and radio host. "The Rolando Barral Show" was a hit that ran 10 years on the Spanish International Network, which later became Univision.

In 1986, he became one of the hosts of "Sabado Gigante"--"Giant Saturday"--a popular three-hour show of music, comedy and games.

In 1988, Barral was arrested in Miami on suspicion of cocaine possession. He pleaded no contest and was ordered into rehabilitation.

Most recently, he was the host of a daily interview program on cable's TVC network.

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