Tony Martinez, an actor known for his more than 2,000 performances as Sancho Panza in the musical, Man of La Mancha, died Sept. 23, the Associated Press reported. The cause of death was natural causes. He was 82, and also left behind a groundbreaking TV role: Mexican farmhand Pepino Garcia on "The Real McCoys" (1957- 1963).
Mr. Martinez last played Sancho on Broadway in 1992, serving the Don Quixote of Raul Julia and the Dulcinea of Sheena Easton. At the time, his Playbill biography indicated he had been in show business 48 years and had "done seven years of Man of La Mancha with 11 different Don Quixotes." AP reported his Sancho performance total as 2, 245, which included road tours.
A native of Puerto Rico, Mr. Martinez was also a respected musician, composer and bandleader, and played the nightclub circuit. His varied career also included serving as a film director, and editor on TV series including "Please Don't Eat the Daisies," "Get Smart" and "F Troop."