Leopoldo Antonio Carrillo (1880-1961)

Early Latino actor famous for his role of Pancho in the Cisco Kid television series. The Carrillo family is prominent in early California history and traces its roots back to early Spanish Conquistadores.

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Biography Edit

A university graduate, Leo 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, in which he played supporting or character roles. However, he is best remembered from the television show The Cisco Kid, on which he portrayed Pancho, a role he had previously played in several films. Duncan Renaldo starred as the Cisco Kid. The popular TV series ran from 1950 until 1956.

Proud of his heritage, Leo Carrillo wrote a book, The California I Love, published shortly before his death in 1961.

A preservationist and conservationist, Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years, and played a key role in the state's acquisition of Hearst Castle at San Simeon, the Los Angeles Arboretum, and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. He was eventually made a goodwill ambassador by the State Governor.

As a result of his service to the State, the Leo Carrillo State Park, west of Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway, was named in his honor, and the city of Westminster, California named an elementary school for him. The Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park originally Rancho de los Qiotes, in Carlsbad, California is a registered California Historical Site.

Family History Edit

Mr. Carrillo was born August 6, 1881, in an adobe building close to the Plaza. He was the fifth child of eight in a family that could trace its lineage back to the colonization of California by Spanish conquistadors. His great-great grandfather, Jose Reimundo Carrillo accompanied Father Junipero Serra and explorer Gaspar de Portola on the expedition north from Baja California in 1769 to settle San Diego. His great-grandfather Carlos Antonio Carrillo was appointed in Mexico in 1837 as provisional governor of California. Carlos Antonio once controlled a tract of 70,000 acres of land in what is now West Los Angeles. His brother Jose Antonio Esequiel was a signer of the Treaty of Cahuenga in which Mexican forces capitulated to the Americans in 1847. Leo's grandfather, Pedro C. Carrillo, was an early-day Los Angeles judge and the actor's father, Juan Jose was once mayor of Santa Monica.

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