The Cisco Kid was a recurrent character in fiction, comic books, radio shows, Western films, and television Westerns throughout the first half of the 20th century. Although the film and television roles are most commonly associated with Duncan Renaldo, the character was played by numerous actors. The first film version, a silent titled The Caballero’s Way (1914), was based on a 1907 O. Henry story of the same name. Besides Renaldo, actors who played the role through the years included Warner Baxter, Cesar Romero, and Gilbert Roland. Renaldo played the role from 1945 to 1950 when the series was moved to television for 156 episodes. The 1929 film, In Old Arizona, with Baxter in the lead, was the first Western talkie as well as the first talkie filmed outdoors. The original Cisco Kid was not Mexican and was quite disreputable. Gilbert Roland’s Cisco was a debonair charmer of women, while Renaldo’s version assumed a significant adolescent audience. Cisco rode through the countryside seeking adventure with his comic sidekick Pancho. Much unfortunate Hispanic stereotyping typifies all versions of the character.
   See also MEXICANS.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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