Leo Carillo needs mentioning
by Paul Winther
(Saginaw , Mi)
A university graduate, Carrillo worked as a newspaper cartoonist for the San Francisco Examiner before turning to acting on Broadway. In Hollywood, he appeared in more than 90 films, including The Gay Desperado (1936), in which he usually played supporting or character roles.
However, he is best remembered from the television series The Cisco Kid, on which, beginning at the age of seventy, he portrayed the sidekick Pancho, a role that he had previously played in several films. Duncan Renaldo (1904–1980) starred as The Cisco Kid. The popular syndicated series ran from 1950 until 1956, with most episodes in color. After The Cisco Kid ended production, Carrillo appeared in the episode "Rescue at Sea" of the syndicated military drama, Men of Annapolis.
A preservationist and conservationist, Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years2 and played a key role in the state's acquisition of Hearst Castle at San Simeon, Los Angeles Arboretum, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. He was eventually made a goodwill ambassador by the California Governor at the time.
As a result of his service to California, west of Malibu on CA-1 Pacific Coast Highway, a 1.5 mile beach is named Leo Carrillo State Park in his honor. (Fittingly, this beach named for an actor appears in many movie and TV productions due to its dramatic cliffs, rocks and cave.) City of Westminster, California named an elementary school for him. Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, originally Rancho de los Kiotes, in Carlsbad, California, is a registered California Historical Site.13 Rancho Carrillo Trail, also in Carlsbad, is named for Leo Carrillo.14
Carrillo was a Republican. In 1944, for instance, he performed a "Wild West" act at the massive rally organized by David O. Selznick in the Los Angeles Coliseum in support of the Dewey-Bricker ticket as well as Governor Earl Warren of California, who would become Dewey's running mate in 1948 and later the Chief Justice of the United States. The gathering drew 93,000, with Cecil B. DeMille as the master of ceremonies and with short speeches by Hedda Hopper and Walt Disney. Among the others in attendance were Ann Sothern, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott, Adolphe Menjou, Gary Cooper, Eddy Arnold, William Bendix, and Walter Pidgeon.15
In 1913, Carrillo married Edith Shakespeare Haeselbarth,16 of Nyack, New York, whom he met backstage at the New York City theater where she had seen him perform. They remained together until her death in 1953. They lived in "Los Alisos" ("The Sycamores") on Channel Road, in Santa Monica Canyon. The Carrillos had one child, a daughter, Marie Antoinette. They spent part of their time at their 4,500-acre (1,800 ha) ranch.