A 40-year showbiz veteran, A (short for Adolpho) is best known for his Emmy-winning portrayal of Cruz Castillo on NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” That’s how I became a fan of his, meeting him for the first time at the age of 14 when I attended the Daytime Emmys. I remember being so starstruck that I burst into tears upon seeing A. I never imagined that this memorable encounter would lead to a cherished friendship with one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known.
A and Me at the Daytime Emmy Awards, June 1989
A has a well-deserved reputation for being gracious, down-to-earth and exceedingly kind. Over the course of twenty years and many delightful meals together, I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing his generous spirit first hand.
A devoted father of three who adores his children and his lovely wife Leslie, A speaks with boundless pride about his family. The ties that bind were among the many subjects we covered over brunch at Café Luxembourg on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Our affable waiter was solicitous yet unobtrusive about letting us linger, and linger we did for four hours. A and I were all smiles as we shared a sublimely decadent chocolate gateau with a dollop of whipped cream and cherry compote.
In between bites, we talked about the marvels of New Mexico, the catharsis to be found in artistic expression (he’s also a talented musician and writer), and the emotional trajectory that inevitably follows a breakup.
It is a rare thing to be given the opportunity to meet one of your real-life heroes. Rarer still is when you connect as friends. Twenty years after meeting A for the first time, I’m still starstruck.
I’m tickled pink that A will be gracing the small screen again. If you haven’t experienced his talent, do yourself a favor and check out “One Life to Live” beginning September 12th. You can also catch A this week on the Lifetime Movie Network flick, “Little Girl Lost.”