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Subject: Leo Castillo - has four acting credits from 1950s

Dies at 89
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Date Posted: Thursday, August 29, 09:08:42am

Lotario Leo Castillo

Lotario Leo Castillo was born and raised in Belen, NM. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Ricardo and Mary Castillo, both of Belen; his dear sister, Gloria Castillo Kaddison and brother-in-law, Ellis Kaddison, both of Hollywood, California, and his two sisters-in-law, Regina Castillo of Belen, NM and Ruth Castillo of Albuquerque, NM. Leo attended the New Mexico Military Institute, a private men’s boarding school, during his high school years. He was both a serious and stellar student, displaying a voracious appetite for reading and an outstanding ability for writing. He attended the University of New Mexico where he studied History and Psychology. Leo would remain a lifelong student of both these subjects.

Shortly after college, Leo escorted his sister, Gloria Castillo, to Hollywood, where she was hoping to embark on a career in motion pictures. Leo was photogenic, with chiseled features and sandy blond hair, and had a winsome personality. A career in film seemed like a viable option. Within a year of arriving in Hollywood, Leo landed his first film role. The prospect of an acting career diminished as work in television and film proved sporadic over the next five years. In his final television role, in 1958, Leo starred in an NBC-TV Matinee Theater production portraying the role of a young man in the episode “A Boy Grows Up”. He departed the film industry for good in 1967 after working as a production assistant.

When his sister, Gloria, launched her new career as the fashion designer named Chessa Davis, she enlisted Leo to help her in sales. It was a strong match with Gloria’s exquisite designs and Leo’s natural genius for navigating the fashion wholesale market. He worked with editors, trade publications, and fashion industry insiders and was able to obtain highly sought-after 5th Avenue store window displays in New York’s luxury department stores. Leo was instrumental in persuading key buyers and their management at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf-Goodman, and Lord & Taylor to showcase Chessa Davis designs for extended periods in their most visible flagship stores. By 1976, Chessa Davis designs had catapulted to the national and international forefront with customers such as Mary Tyler Moore, Betty Ford, and Princess Grace.

The year that followed this staggering success was a sad one, as his sister Gloria contracted cancer and passed away. This was a heartbreak that Leo would endure until his last days.

Leo left the fashion market and began a new career selling high priced rare gems, often in the seven figures, to investors and clients in New York, Palm Beach, and Beverley Hills. Leo eventually achieved a stellar position as the top salesman for the country’s premiere jewelers Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels, with exclusive Forbes 400 clientele. Many of the clients he associated with became close personal friends.

Always the student, Leo was near encyclopedic about classical music, opera, literature, and psychology. He took courses at NYU and UCLA, traveled, and spent months abroad studying French and World History at Alliance Française in Paris. A wide and deep consumption of art, literature, and music was an essential part of his life’s work.

Leo brought joy to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. He is beloved by his two dear brothers, Dr. Robert Castillo of Albuquerque and Francis Leonard Castillo of Belen, by his many nieces and nephews, and his countless friends. His gentleness and kindness will be remembered fondly in their hearts, and his love of political discussion will be greatly missed. Services will take place at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church on Saturday, August 31, 2019, beginning with a Visitation at 9:00 AM, Rosary to be recited at 10:00 AM, a Funeral Mass at 10:30 AM and Interment to follow at Our Lady of Belen Memorial Gardens.


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IMDb-Thursday, August 29, 09:08:59am

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