Bernardo was Diego de la Vega's servant and Zorro's sidekick in many versions of the Zorro legend. In the original story, The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston McCulley, Bernardo was a deaf mute. However, beginning with Disney's television series, Bernardo became merely a mute who pretended to be deaf so he would be able to act as Zorro's secret agent. In the Zorro novel by Isabelle Alende, Diego and Bernardo were revealed to have been milk brothers, which would put them around the same age. In the Disney series Bernardo was portrayed by American pantomime artist, Gene Sheldon.