Claudio Guzman passed away last Saturday in Los Angeles at age 80. He had 40-year career in Hollywood, where he directed almost 30 TV shows, including “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Patty Duke Show,” as well as multiple films.
But he also was a pioneer in bringing bicultural programming to the airwaves. He produced “Villa Alegre,” one of the nation’s first bicultural Spanish-English educational television programs for children. The show premiered in 1973 on PBS and aired until about 1980 on more than 230 stations across the country.
In an interview with the L.A. Times in 1972, Claudio, who was born in Rancagua, Chile, said: “We want children to understand that despite language, geography and cultural differences, they are all similar.”