Leo Carrillo Ranch
Leo Carrillo (1880-1961) was an artist, poet, lyricist, vaudeville comic, legitimate stage actor appearing in 15 Broadway plays, and screen actor with 98 films to his credit. He was also a dedicated and influential environmentalist, conservationist and historic preservationist. He was Governor Earl Warren's campaign manager and later a member of the California State Beaches and Parks Commission.
Those old enough will probably remember him best in his role as Pancho, sidekick to The Cisco Kid (Duncan Renaldo) in the 1950s TV movie series which ran for 156 episodes. He took that role on at 70 years old.
Leo was not that fond of the Hollywood lifestyle and in 1937 purchased 840 acres in what is now Carlsbad, CA for an astonishing $25,000 to build a retreat and vacation home. By 1940 he had constructed not only a fine hacienda complex but also a full working cattle and horse ranch. A gracious host with many friends, he often welcomed friends such as Clark Gable, Carol Lombard, Jane Withers, Will Rogers, Earl Warren and others who wanted to escape to a peaceful retreat.
After Leo's death in 1961, parcels of land were slowly sold off for investment and development purposes and in 1977 10.5 acres, including all 18 major and minor historic structures, were dedicated to the City of Carlsbad for historic preservation and park land. Since then, the city has maintained, preserved, and restored the property to it's current condition. With so much history to be seen, it's a wonderful place to visit.
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