LEO CARRILLO (1881–1961)
Born into a prominent aristocratic family, Leo Carrillo was a notable entertainer on stage (including Broadway) and screen. Although Carrillo’s parents wanted him to join the clergy, Leo pursued an engineering degree and joined the Southern Pacific Railway’s engineering department. In his free time, Carrillo amused himself by drawing cartoons and mimicking railroad laborers’ accents, mastering those of the Spanish, French, Italian, and Chinese workers. After taking an art course, Carrillo moved to northern California and began drawing political cartoons for the San Francisco Examiner. Encouraged by his co-workers, he left his career as a cartoonist to develop a vaudeville act, which eventually led to a role in the stage hit Lombardi Ltd. (1917). Working alongside Carrillo in the New York cast was Warner Baxter, the talking movies’ first Cisco Kid.