Leo Grillo

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Leo Grillo
Leo Francis Grillo, Jr.

1949 (age 72–73)
OccupationActor, producer, activist,
Years active1972–present

Leo Francis Grillo Jr. (born 1948) is an American film actor, producer and animal welfare activist. He is best known for founding Dedication and Everlasting Love to Animals Rescue, an animal welfare organization based in Acton, California. The not-for-profit organization was incorporated in 1981. The refuge has grown to become the largest care-for-life animal sanctuary of its type in the world.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Grillo was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to Carmela de Lucia and Leo Francis Grillo, Sr., both Italian-Americans.[3] Grillo appeared in the 1972 television series Banacek.[4] Grillo majored in theatre at Emerson College in Boston, MA.[3]


In 1977, Grillo moved from Boston to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a film career. He appeared in the 1977 John Heard film Between the Lines. Grillo studied under the tutelage of Charles E. Conrad, an acting coach credited with launching the film careers of Dee Wallace and Diana Ross, both Academy Award nominees.[2][3][better source needed]

Grillo was the lead actor in Dierdre's Party, a feature film he produced in 1998.[5] Grillo played lead actor, opposite Katherine Heigl, in the 2006 independent film Zyzzyx Road.[6] In 2009, Grillo co-wrote, produced and starred in Magic, opposite Sammi Hanratty, Lori Heuring, Christopher Lloyd and Robert Davi, who directed the movie.[7][8]


Grillo and his staff of seventy care for more than 1,500 previously abandoned and abused animals on a daily basis at the D.E.L.T.A. Rescue sanctuary in Glendale, California. According to tax documents, Grillo takes no salary to run the 150-acre No-Kill refuge. Grillo founded Horse Rescue of America in 1988.[3][9]

In 2008, Grillo created "Animals on the Edge," a global project that allows animals from other nations to benefit from Grillo's initiatives. Grillo co-conceived with wildlife photographer and author Chris Weston a book by the same name. The book identifies those animals currently living on the frontline of extinction.[10]


Grillo is the father of Meguire Elizabeth Grillo and Erica Lee Grillo.[3]





  • Magic (2010) (film) – executive producer
  • Zyzzyx Rd (2006) (film) – executive producer
  • The Rescuer (2005) – executive producer
  • Deirdre's Party (1998) – executive producer


  • Magic (2009) (film)


  1. ^ "Is This The Place?,” Is This The Place?, 1995, by Leo Grillo. Retrieved on September 25, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Gimme Shelter,” The Magazine of Santa Clarita, January 2003, by Elodie Ackerman. Retrieved on September 25, 2009
  3. ^ a b c d e [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Leo Grillo". IMDb.
  5. ^ "Deirdre's Party" – via www.imdb.com.
  6. ^ "Zyzzyx Rd (2006) - IMDb" – via www.imdb.com.
  7. ^ "Magic" – via www.imdb.com.
  8. ^ "DAVI: Our pets are family, too". Washington Times. April 21, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  9. ^ "Shelter Embodies Activist's No-Kill Philosophy,” Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2006, by John Spano. Retrieved on September 25, 2009.
  10. ^ "How it Started – About AOTE – Animals on the Edge – Together we can make a difference". Animals on the Edge. Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010.

External links[edit]