Nestor Paiva

Nestor Paiva

Nestor Paiva in the 1947 film Mr. Reckless
Born Nestor Caetano Paiva
(1905-06-30)June 30, 1905
Fresno, California, U.S.
Died September 9, 1966(1966-09-09) (aged 61) Hollywood, California, U.S.
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Years active 1937–1966
Spouse(s) Maxine Kuntzman (1941–1966) (his death) 2 children

Nestor Paiva (June 30, 1905 – September 9, 1966) was an American actor of Portuguese descent. He is most famous for portraying Theo Gonzales the innkeeper in Walt Disney's TV series Zorro and its feature film The Sign of Zorro, as well as Lucas the boat captain in The Creature from the Black Lagoon and its sequel Revenge of the Creature.

Early years

Paiva attended the University of California. During his senior year, he directed a production, The Youngest, after the previous director resigned because of sickness.[1]


In the early 1930s, Paiva was director of the Eight o'Clock Players troupe at KLX radio in Oakland, California.[2]

Nestor appeared in motion pictures and television shows from the 1930s to the 1960s such as Zorro, Get Smart, Bonanza, I Spy, Family Affair, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Daniel Boone, and The Addams Family. In 1943, he played the Italian Major in the 20th Century Fox wartime movie Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas. He played the part of Lucas (the boat captain) in the 1954 horror film The Creature from the Black Lagoon starring Ben Chapman as the title monster; Paiva would reprise this role in that film's sequel Revenge of the Creature the following year, thus becoming the only actor to appear in more than one film in the series. He appeared in more than 250 movies. Paiva married in 1941 and had two children, Joseph and Caetana, who appeared with him in the 1956 movie Comanche with Dana Andrews. As a voice actor, Paive also contributed his voice to many characters on Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest (1964-1965).

Paiva died of cancer in 1966.

Partial filmography

Selected television appearances


  1. "U.C. Little Theater To Present Comedy". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. February 11, 1931. p. 13. Retrieved November 22, 2016 via
  2. "Songs and Mimicry on Program". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. October 16, 1932. p. 15. Retrieved November 22, 2016 via
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