Zorro (Spanish for "fox") is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega, a Californio nobleman and master living in the Spanish colonial era. The character has undergone changes through the years, but the typical image of him is a dashing black-clad masked outlaw who defends the people of the land against tyrannical officials and other villains. Not only is he much too cunning and foxlike for the bumbling authorities to catch, but he delights in publicly humiliating those same foes. Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, on their honeymoon, selected the story as the inaugural picture for their new studio, United Artists. The story was adapted as the film The Mark of Zorro (1920). In response to public demand fueled by the film, McCulley wrote more than 60 more Zorro stories, beginning in 1922. The last, "The Mask of Zorro" (not to be confused with the 1998 film), was published posthumously in 1959. McCulley died in 1958, just as the Disney-produced Zorro television show was becoming popular.
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