He's got hair down to his shoulders and he's mighty young, but he has the kind of dark, ruggedly handsome looks that are identiable in any age. Mr. A Martinez, known by us fans of "Santa Barbara" as Cruz Castillo, starring in an April 1977 episode of "The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries."
As you know if you caught our post last week on this very blog, we've been enjoying the first season DVD set from the series (because our friend Tracy gets us the best DVDs -- seriously). And this particular episode, a Nancy Drew one called "Mystery of the Fallen Angels," is a bountiful feast of classic stars. Whereas you can't mistake Martinez, it's easy to miss Jamie Lee Curtis as a fast-talkin' carnie. And Robert Englund of "Nightmare on Elm Street" fame joins her in the scheming, his youthful blond hair just brimming with big curls.
We'll note, as well, that the mom of one of Martinez' "SB" costars is featured in the episode -- Beverly Garland, mother of Carrington, one our favorite Kellys (since there were so many to choose from, kinda like Santanas). She's Thelma in the episode. And Susan Pratt, longtime soaps star who also did a "Shazam!" episode back in the day, plays Ann. At the time she was married to George O'Hanlon, who played Ned Nickerson on these "Nancy Drew" episodes.
Martinez is a good guy in this episode, of course -- portraying a young man wrongly accused of theft who gets a little help from Nancy Drew to clear his name. He even gets to ride on the back of a motorbike she hijacks! Martinez, by the way, has a new show on A and E called "Longmire" -- have you seen it? He's joined by Lou Diamond Phillips, along with Katee Sackhoff of newer "Battlestar Galactica" and Cassidy Freeman, who was Tess Mercer on "Smallville."
And by the way ... Happy Independence Day to all of you in the U.S.!