Hechter Ubarry

Three months out of high school, I landed my first Broadway show: "The Royal Hunt of the Sun" starring Christopher Plummer and David Carradine. I auditioned with - what else - Shakespeare (Hamlet's "To be or not to be"), and was cast as an Inca Indian. My second Broadway show was "Man of La Mancha" starring Richard Kiley. (Here I am on the right with Richard Kiley and then U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, after a performance. Not bad company for a young Puerto Rican kid raised in Harlem).
Hechter and "friends"

It was at this point I was encouraged to study opera, and so I did with a cantor named Maurice Jampol. He believed in me and encouraged me, refusing to let me stop lessons simply because I did not have the money. He always said - you will pay me when you can - and I did, every penny. He was a wonderful man who became a dear friend as well as a mentor.

As Rico in "Crocodile Dundee II"
My film career was now beginning to take off. My first movie was "The Cross and the Switchblade" with Pat Boone and Erik Estrada where I played Moonlight, a tough gang kid. In "McBain", with Christopher Walken and Maria Conchita Alonso, I was the infamous drug kingpin, Simon Escobar. But it was as the South American drug kingpin, Rico, in "Crocodile Dundee II" (see right) that I had my biggest role, which led to others.

I returned to Broadway in the musical "Chu Chem" playing a Jewish-Chinese prince (now that's inspired casting). Some other theatre credits include "Bye, Bye, Birdie", "Romance Language", "West Side Story", "The King and I", "The Me Nobody Knows" a musical version of "Gone with the Wind" and the Broadway revival of "Man of La Mancha" with my long-time friend, Raul Julia. (To the right, a photo of me and Raul singing together off-stage as well.)
With friend, Raul Julia

I continued making films but one I particularly enjoyed was "The Ardent Heart", a German made-for-television film, because I got to sing in that one. In the year 2000 I was invited by singer-songwriter, Paul Simon, to sing on the CD of his Broadway production, "The Capeman". When I am not working in a show or on a film, I have my own cabaret act which I have been doing since 2000 as well.

My daughter, Degan and wife, Carmen
I had a full career under my birth name Hector Mercado. Later discovering that there was another performer in the union with the exact same name, in 1983 I decided to change my name to Hechter Ubarry to avoid confusion. I consider myself very fortunate. In spite of humble beginnings, I have happily made my life in New York and have been able to spend my life doing the one thing I have always wanted to do. (In the photo on left you can see my daughter, Degan and wife, Carmen while in France for a wedding).

I have also had the good fortune to make many good friends over the years. (Two of those friends are that fine actor,Tony Martinez and baseball Hall-of-Famer, Orlando Cepeda who flank me in the photo at right). I hope that by coming to my website, you will enjoy making the journey of that life with me.
Tony Martinez, me, Orlando Cepeda