Monday, August 18, 2008

The Cisco Kid Is A Friend of Mine

So, I've been watching this old TV show on DVD: The Cisco Kid. As always, I became curious about the actors--that would be Duncan Renaldo (Cisco) and Leo Carrillo (Pancho)--and I googlegooglegoogled to find out more.

1) An orphan, Duncan Renaldo claimed not to really know where or when he was born. He MIGHT have been born in: (1) Spain; (2) Romania; (3) New Jersey.
--Study Question: New Jersey? What exit?
2) Duncan Renaldo came to this country as a stoker on a Brazilian coal ship, but when his ship caught fire he had to find other work and started producing films.
--Study Question: How many stokers start producing films when their Brazilian coal ships catch fire?
3) Before he started producing films and before he became the Cisco Kid, Duncan Renaldo tried to make his living as a portrait painter. It didn't work very well, although later on he did illustrate at least one book which is now for sale on ebay.
--Study Question: Does this make him the only Stoker-Portrait Painter-Producer-Actor you've ever heard of?
4) Duncan Renaldo was arrested as an illegal alien (from where? New Jersey?) and was imprisoned for almost a year until Franklin Delano Roosevelt pardoned him. Apparently, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced FDR to pardon Duncan because she'd bought one of his paintings and liked it.
--Study Question: Can I trust IMDB and Wikipedia about this guy? Do you think a studio PR department made up this stuff and it has not been proved false?

In any event, Duncan Rrrrrrrenaldo interests me. From what I read, he seems like he was a nice, hard-working guy surrounded with a good deal of murkiness about his early years. Or, maybe it's all true? I just don't know.

There is no mystery surrounding Leo Carrillo, but he is a very interesting fellow.
1) He played "Pancho" when he was in his seventies.
2) Before he became an actor, he worked as a political cartoonist at the San Francisco Examiner.
3) A California state park is named after him.
4) His father was the police chief and mayor of Santa Monica.
5) His cousin acted on Broadway and in movies under the name "William Gaxton."

Both men died in September, Carrillo in September 1961 and Renaldo in September 1980. Here's to Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo--two cool and multi-talented fellows.