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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Kamar de los Reyes, ‘One Life to Live’ actor and ‘Call of Duty’ voice, dies at 56

Kamar De los Reyes was raised in Las Vegas and, after high school, moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. (Instagram)

By Yan Zhuang

Kamar de los Reyes, a Puerto Rican actor best known for playing police officer Antonio Vega in the soap opera “One Life to Live” and for voicing the villain Raul Menendez in the video game franchise “Call of Duty,” died Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 56.

He died of cancer, according to Lisa Goldberg, the publicist for his wife, actor Sherri Saum.

De los Reyes was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 8, 1967, to a Cuban father, Walfredo de los Reyes, and a Puerto Rican mother, Matilde Pages. He described himself as coming “from a family of musicians”: His two brothers and father were acclaimed percussionists, and his grandfather was a famous trumpeter.

De los Reyes was raised in Las Vegas and, after high school, moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. But his first big break was in New York, where he took on the role of Pedro Quinn in the off-Broadway play “Blade to the Heat,” a performance The New York Times described in 1994 as the show’s “most arresting.”

“More than any words he utters, the actor’s haunted eyes, sunken cheeks and shaved head convey the extent of Pedro’s torment,” David Richards, the Times’ theater critic, wrote. “In repose, he’s almost spectral. In the ring, he’s like a short circuit, and his silent scream of triumph is a guaranteed spine-tingler.”

In his longest-running and perhaps most widely known role, he was a gangster-turned-police officer in “One Life to Live.” De los Reyes appeared in nearly 300 episodes from 1995 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2009. After his character is released from his prison sentence for murder charges when it is revealed he was acting in self-defense, he becomes a police officer and has a series of romantic entanglements.

Saum also played the character Keri Reynolds on the show from 2001 to 2003, before the two actors married, and their characters were romantically involved.

The show, which ran from 1968 to 2012 mostly on ABC, was groundbreaking for its diverse cast, including the first Black actor to play a lead role on daytime television.

In a 2007 interview with Urban Latino magazine, De los Reyes said of the show, “We’re one of the few soaps that has an all-Latino family, a Puerto Rican family, which you don’t see much of, not only on daytime but prime time television overall, and is something I feel network television needs to work harder on.”

“I think ‘One Life to Live’ has done a formidable job of that,” he added.

De los Reyes also voiced Menendez in the 2012 video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” as well as “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” and “Call of Duty: Vanguard.” His character is often regarded as one of the franchise’s best villains.

At the time of his death, he was filming the CW sports drama “All American” and had recently shot roles in the forthcoming series “Daredevil: Born Again” and the miniseries “Washington Black,” according to his wife’s publicist.

De los Reyes is survived by his wife, Saum; his three sons Caylen, Michael and John; his brothers Daniel and Walfredo Jr.; his sisters Lily and Ilde; and his mother and father.

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