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David Hill Remembers Duncan Renaldo


(Courtesy of David Hill)


"Here are a couple photos of Duncan Renaldo I took while visiting with him at his home in Santa Barbara in the summer of 1974. I had grown up watching the Cisco Kid in the 1950's and had always wanted to contact him and tell him how much I had enjoyed his work. I finally acted on that desire and in the early 1970's I found him and we struck up a friendship via telephone. We talked many times and I would periodically call him to ask about a film or inquire about his health. My children were young and he would sometimes speak to them about the Cisco Kid. He would always invite me out to his home, however I lived in the Midwest, not exactly close by. But then in 1974 I decided to take him up on his invitation and I flew to California. I spent an entire Sunday morning with him at his home and we talked about his career and memories of the series. The picture of him behind his saddle was taken in his office at the house. There had been six horses used in the Cisco Kid series and at the time two of them were still living, both over 30 years of age. We visited many times over the remaining years via telephone and he once sent me what he had left of a couple items he gave away to children on personal appearances - a neckerchief slide and a water slide decal. I will always remember him as a kind, gentle man and I still miss our chats."

David Hill
June, 2010



(Courtesy of David Hill)


More Renaldo Remembrances

•  Donn and Nancy Moyer wrote: "Duncan Renaldo spent a short stint with the James Brothers Circus in the very early 1960's. The circus was owned by Sid Kellner (who lives in California). We attended and as it turned out, I wound up working both shows, ergo, never saw a total Renaldo performance. Nancy did and our eldest was then very little. Renaldo shook hands with every one who came by after the show, while astride a beautiful paint. After all were gone, he held son Donn for a few minutes and we chatted. It was very chilly and raining. He was a nice man and played the roll of celebrity very well. Cared for his fans." (Webmaster's note: Renaldo was typical of the B movie cowboys in that he did public appearances and performances for various circuses.  In addition to the above, Renaldo worked with the Cole Bros. Circus as well as the Clyde Beatty show during the 1950s.)

•  Music performer/conductor/composer John Beal had Duncan Renaldo as his Cub Scout master and there's a brief mention in John's biography at: http://www.composerjohnbeal.com/johnbio.html. John provided the following remembrances of Duncan Renaldo in a November, 2003 e-mail:

"My early childhood in Encino was in a community of new homes scattered among the ranches and farms of the blossoming San Fernando Valley. It did not seem odd, given that most families were somehow involved in the exploding television and film industry, that 'The Cisco Kid' was our cub master. We just knew him as Mr. Renaldo, and he was a quiet and lovely man who treated us all with respect and dignity. I'm looking at his photo with his horse Diablo as I write this. What an amazing time that was in the Valley! We went to school with the sons of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and many many more pioneers of western film. So many of the roads were still dirt, going to Corriganville and Rocky Peak seemed like a cross country trek."

•  In February, 2004, Dave Wyman sent an e-mail with his remembrances of Renaldo:

"In 1970, Duncan Renaldo was the grand master of the Pioneer Days, a week-long celebration held at Chico State, in northern California, where I went to college. Mr. Renaldo's son, Richard, was a student in the dorm I lived in. I imagine that Richard had a lot to do with securing Mr. Renaldo's appearance, both at the student rodeo and at the town parade the next day (with 50,000 people lining the streets). Mr. Renaldo, known to all the college students as the Cisco Kid, received a tremendous and richly deserved ovation when he arrived at the fairgrounds for the rodeo, and he earned the adoration of the crowds lining the parade route. It was a magical time, the blending of our childhood hero with the wonderful make-believe of Pioneer Week."

•  In February, 2006, Tony Johnson e-mailed with a reminder that Renaldo did some comedy shorts with the Three Stooges. Tony writes:

I'LL NEVER HEIL AGAIN (Columbia, 1941) - Renaldo plays a Japanese envoy! Now there's a switch. It shows that Duncan Renaldo was a relative small man in stature, like the Three Stooges.

WHAT'S THE MATADOR (Columbia, 1942) - In an unbilled performance, Renaldo plays the part of an announcer at a bullfight area where the Three Stooges are to perform a comedy bullfight act. Renaldo says, "As an added attraction we present those loco Americanos, the Three Stooges. They will perform a comedy bullfight act. We hope you like them too many! Thank You!"


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