Question: Hi. I would like to know how Chico was written out of Chico and the Man. I know that, sadly, he took his life, but what did they say happened to his character? Thank you. — TV Land Watcher
Televisionary: As you say, Watcher, actor Freddie Prinze, who played Chico Rodriguez, committed suicide in early 1977 and the powers that be gave serious thought to cancelling the series, which had been running since September 1974 on NBC. Instead, they decided to replace the character.
When the show returned to the airwaves for the '77-'78 season, it was explained that Chico had left to launch his own business with his father (played earlier in the series by Cesar Romero). Thus, garage owner Ed "The Man" Brown (Jack Albertson) was paired with 12-year-old Raul Garcia (Gabriel Melgar), who hid in Ed's trunk during a Tijuana fishing trip.
Ed adopted the lad and they were soon joined in the garage by Raul's Aunt Charo (yes, that Charo), giving The Man a daffy new sparring partner.