Sunday, July 9, 2017

"Blackboard Jungle" Actor Rafael Campos 1985 Valley Oaks Cemetery

Rafael Campos was an actor from the Dominican Republic whose credits include Blackboard Jungle in 1955, Dino in 1957, Slumber Party '57 in 1967, The Astro-Zombies in 1968, Centennial in 1978, and V in 1983. 

Campos was married to blues singer and pianist, Dinah Washington, for a brief period of time. 


Originally from the Dominican Republic, he came to the United States in 1949.[1] From 1961 to 1962, he was married to Dinah Washington, who was eleven years his senior.[2] In 1961, Jet Magazine published a photo with Washington embracing both Campos, reportedly husband # 7, and ex-husband Eddie Chamblee, reportedly husband # 5.[3] 

After their divorce, Campos then married model Sally Boyd to whom he had two daughters.[4] Campos's brother is cryptographer, artist and poet Luis Campos. Other brother is president of New York's Latin ACE awards.[5]


Campos had a career that lasted 30 years.[6] One day he was spotted by director Richard Brooks during a theater production of Heavenly Express. Courtesy of Brooks,[6] he had a starring role alongside Glenn Ford, Vic Morrow, Margaret Hayes, and Sidney Poitier in the 1955 film, Blackboard Jungle.[7] 

In Trial (1955), he played the part of a Chicano teenager, wrongfully accused of murdering a white girl from a rich family while at a beach party. He is being defended by a college law instructor, played by Glenn Ford.[8]

Campos appeared as a hoodlum with James Caan in Lady in a Cage (1964). 

He worked with Marlon Brando in The Appaloosa (1966). 

During the 1960s on film he starred in was the Ted V. Mikels directed The Astro-Zombies, which starred John Carradine, Wendell Corey, and Tura Satana. He played the part of Juan.[9]

From 1977 to 1978, he landed a reoccurring role as Ramon Diaz, Jr. in the series Rhoda.[10][6] He appeared in 10 episodes of the show.[11]

Possibly his last credited film role was in 1986, The Return of Josey Wales, which he co-starred in as Chato.[12]


He was diagnosed with stomach cancer and had been in hospital since December, 1984. He died from it on July 9, 1985, aged 49. He was survived by his two daughters, five brothers and three sisters.[1]

Rafael Campos is buried at Valley Oaks Cemetery in Westlake Village, California. 


1. Los Angeles Times, July 11, 1985 - Claims Character Actor Rafael Campos
2. Interracial Marriage and Family - Dinah Washington and Rafael Campos – One of the Queen’s Men
3. Jet Magazine, February 9, 1961 - Page 31 'We Three'
4. The Pantagraph, July 12, 1985 - Page 18 Actor Rafael Campos dies of cancer
5. Knoxville News Sentinel, May 03, 2016 - Downtown Randall Brown: Luís Campos: Celebrity of ciphers - Randall Brown
6. New York Times, July 12, 1985 - RAFAEL CAMPOS
7. Alt Film Guide - Anne Francis Movie Schedule: FUNNY GIRL, IMPASSE, BLACKBOARD JUNGLE
8. The New Scholar, Volume 8 (1982) - Page 169, Page 170
9. Film Alchemy: The Independent Cinema of Ted V. Mikels, By Christopher Wayne Curry - 5. Astro Zombies, Credits
10. Orlando Sentinel, July 12, 1985 - Rafael Campos, 49, character actor who launched his career...
11. Imdb - Rafael Campos (I) (1936–1985), Rhoda (TV Series)
12. The Motion Picture Guide 1988 Annual: The Films of 1987, Cinebooks, 1 Apr. 1997 - Page 246

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