February 26, 2013

Raul Anthony Chavez

Raul Anthony Chavez Royval, noted Hispanic veteran, actor, scouter, television and advertising pioneer, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, on February 14, 1926, the eldest son of Raul Chavez del Avellano and MarĂ­a Royval. He immigrated to the U.S. with his family to seek refuge from the turbulence that followed the Mexican Revolution. His family settled in Los Angeles, California, where Raul entered the parochial school system and was graduated from J.H. Francis Polytechnic. With the outbreak of WWII and influenced by his Sea Scout adventures, Raul joined the U.S. Navy, where he trained and served as a flight engineer and turret aerial gunner on PBM5 flying boat patrol bombers. He participated in the Okinawa campaign, preparations for the invasion of the Japanese mainland and reconnaissance over-flights of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At the conclusion of the war, Raul enrolled at the Pasadena Playhouse School of Theater in California, under the auspices of the GI Bill, to study acting, radio and TV production. While at the Playhouse, he appeared in the world premiere, in English, of Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding. Among his credits in Hollywood were the 1948 pioneering TV drama, Space Patrol; the Lone Ranger; The Ruggles; But Not Goodbye; No Time for Comedy; Bird of Paradise and Beauty and the Beast. In 1951, he moved his young family to Mexico City to assist in the creation of Mexico's first TV broadcaster, XHTV Canal 4, and as the newscaster on XEB of the Noticiero General Motors and Paging the News on XEVIP. He was one of the first TV producers in Mexico with classic shows to his credit like the first live broadcasts of the Pan-American Races, the variety show El Estudio Raleigh with Pedro Vargas and the legendary classical music TV program El Concierto General Motors, broadcast live from El Palacio de Bellas Artes, featuring renowned artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Giuseppe Di Stefano and Adolfo Odnoposoff. His film credits during this period include the dubbing of La Malquerida and The Magnificent Seven. He also starred in the bi-lingual TV series Famous Guests, alongside Pedro Armendariz and Dolores del Rio.

In 1974, the Raul returned to the US, settling in Dallas, and served as Director of Communications for the Boy Scouts of America at their national headquarters office in Irving, Texas until his retirement in 1989. Soon after retirement, he moved to Houston, reconnected with his acting career and was featured in commercials for many Dallas and Houston based corporations. In 1998, his voice was featured for all of the characters (except "the burro") in The Legend of the Christmas Flower, an animated film nominated for an Emmy. He passed away on November 25, 2012 in Houston, at the age of 86.

GPS Coordinates
29° 55.836, -095° 26.805

Section C-13
Houston National Cemetery
Houston

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