Abel Fernandez – R.I.P.

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By David Martinez / dmboxing.com

On May 3, 2016 a friend to many, former actor, and professional boxer, Abel Fernandez, passed away at the age of 85.

Abel played Native American Federal Agent William Youngfellow on the hit TV series, “The Untouchables” (1959-1963). The show’s star was Robert Stack, who played Eliot Ness.

Abel was born in East Los Angeles on July 14, 1930, and attended Belmont High School. At the young age of 16 he enlisted in the United States Army, where he became a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division. While serving in the military, he won the Asiatic Forces middleweight championship.

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After his discharge in 1950, Abel won the Los Angeles Times Golden Gloves Tournament and was runner-up at the National Golden Gloves in Chicago. He later boxed professionally in the light heavyweight division from April 1950 to March 1953.

Abel was inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013. I was present at the event and remember how happy and modest Abel was about this honor when taking his picture up on stage.

Abel made his acting debut in the 1953 movie, “Second Chance,” in which his character, Rivera, fought a boxing match against star Robert Mitchum.

In another boxing movie, “The Harder They Fall,” which starred Humphrey Bogart, Abel played Chief Firebird, an American Indian boxer who was hesitant to throw a fight.

Abel appeared on such popular TV shows as “Daniel Boone,” “Bonanza,” “Time Tunnel,” “Gunsmoke,” “Batman,” “Wagon Train,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” and “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.”

Some of his movie credits include “Fort Yuma” (1953), “Alaska Seas” (1953), “Rose Marie” (1954), “Fort Yuma” (1955), “Many Rivers to Cross” (1955), “Devil Goddess” (1955), “The Last Wagon” (1956), “Pork Chop Hill” (1959), “Apache Uprising” (1965), “Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round” (1966), “The Appaloosa” (1966), “Madigan” (1968), “Quicksilver” (1986), and “Buster’s Bedroom” (1990).

A wonderful human being with kindness in his heart, Abel Fernandez was loved by everyone.  May his soul rest peacefully in heaven with the Lord.

 

 

 

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