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Veteran TV character actor Gregory Sierra has passed away at age 83.

The actor, who appeared in beloved TV comedy shows Sanford and Son and Barney Miller, lost his battle with cancer on January 4, according to a family spokesman.

Born in New York, Sierra worked with the National Shakespeare Company and also appeared in off-Broadway plays before moving to Los Angeles in the late 1960s.

He landed roles on popular TV shows such as The High Chaparral, Mod Squad, and Kung Fu and in films Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Papillon, and The Towering Inferno.

He was cast as Fred Sanford‘s sympathetic neighbor Julio Fuentes in Sanford & Son in 1972, and three years later he was a regular on another TV favorite, playing Sgt. Miguel ‘Chano’ Amenguale in Barney Miller.

He continued to rack up TV credits throughout the 1980s and 1990s with roles in Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, and Murder, She Wrote, while his film career also features appearances in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, Hot Shots! Part Deux, and Mafia!