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Renaldo as the Cisco Kid

Renault Renaldo Duncan (April 23, 1904 – September 3, 1980), better known as Duncan Renaldo, was an American actor who portrayed The Cisco Kid in films and on the 1950-1956 American TV series, The Cisco Kid.

Early years

Movie poster for Tiger Fangs, left to right: Arno Frey, J. Farrell MacDonald, Howard Banks, June Duprez, Frank Buck, Duncan Renaldo

An orphan, Renaldo apparently never knew his biological parents and was raised in several European countries. He claimed not to know where he had been born. He emigrated to America in the 1920s. Failing to support himself as a portrait painter, he tried producing short films. He eventually took up acting and signed with MGM in 1928. In 1934 he was arrested for illegal entry into the United States, but eventually was pardoned by President Franklin Roosevelt and returned to acting.

Though he starred mostly in B-films, for example Tiger Fangs (1943), Renaldo played roles in mainstream films as well, including in Spawn of the North (1938) with George Raft, Henry Fonda and John Barrymore; and For Whom the Bell Tolls with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. He was also a producer, writer and director.

Television star

In the late 1940s, Renaldo starred in several Hollywood westerns as the Cisco Kid, and in 1950, he began playing the role in a popular television series that ran until 1956. In the age of black and white television, the show was filmed in color. As Cisco, Renaldo roamed the Old West on a black and white horse named Diablo, accompanied by his constant companion, Pancho, played by Leo Carrillo, who was twenty-four years Renaldo's senior. The Cisco Kid always helped where needed, and unlike most western heroes, never killed anyone.

Renaldo illustrated a book of poetry by Moreton B. Price titled Drifter's Dreams. His illustrations are ink sketches of idyllic scenes, primarily seascapes and landscapes.

For his contributions to the television industry, Renaldo has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1680 Vine Street.

He died of lung cancer in 1980, aged 76, in Goleta, California. His interment took place in Calvary Cemetery, Santa Barbara, California.

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