Actor Grand L. Bush’s Medical Odyssey

“There is not a single entertainer around that has reached success by staying on the same career path,” actor-turned-diagnostic medical sonographer Grand L. Bush said today. “In fact, research shows that the average American between ages eighteen and forty-six will explore as many as fifteen different occupations before landing the perfect gig.

“Along the way, I’ve held jobs that tested me physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and ethically. That was good, because each experience made the next one better.”

To read more, go here.


Raul Julia-Levy: ‘Love cannot be divided’

LOS ANGELES, CA — “I was raised around several families and I was a quiet little boy and the least popular kid at school most of my childhood,” revealed actor/producer/animal welfare activist Raul Julia-Levy in an exclusive interview with Exceptional People Magazine.

Patti was just 24 hours away from euthanasia before Julia-Levy rescued her. Copyrighted photo by Michael Doven.

“I had dogs, cats, horses and even a little pony. I loved them all the same. My grandfather told me that love cannot be divided between them and that animals have very sensitive feelings.

“Therefore, you must love them all the same way.”

Julia-Levy is currently preparing to film “Havana Heat,” opposite Hollywood icon Wesley Snipes.

Next Spring, he and Snipes will begin production on “Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel,” an effects-driven 3D major motion picture based on Julia-Levy’s yet-to-be-released novel by the same name.

Julia-Levy has vowed to donate his salary and partial box-office receipts from “Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel” to help the indigenous peoples of Mexico and benefit select animal causes.

The film is slated for worldwide release in December, 2012.

To read Julia-Levy’s entire interview, go here.

To learn more about Julia-Levy’s television and film career, go here.

Todd Bridges’ “father” reacts to actor’s breakdown

LOS ANGELES, CA — “Watching Todd [Bridges] experience an emotional breakdown on national television truly pierced my heart,” said veteran actor Grand L. Bush, who portrayed the former child star’s abusive father in the 2000 short film titled “Building Bridges.”

Todd Bridges confronted his demons on national TV.

Bush was one of millions who, on April 28, watched talk show host Oprah Winfrey help Bridges confront the phantoms of his past when she asked the troubled actor-turned-book author read aloud painful passages from his newly released book, entitled Killing Willis. It was an emotional twist during daytime television that was raw, unexpected and potentially therapeutic.

Bridges read, in his own words, his haunting experience with a trusted mentor and publicist whom, he revealed, sexually abused him at the formative age of 11. As he began speaking, Bridges’ hands shook. He fought back tears. A knot developed in his throat.

Said Bridges: “He pulled my pants down. He put his mouth on me and I got hard. I didn’t know where to look or how to feel. I squirmed against the back of the seat. I hoped it would be over fast. That’s what happened. I came.”

He added, “As I confessed and I was upset about it, I liked the way that it felt. I didn’t think about whether or not it was wrong.”

Bridges held his head in his hand and started crying as he put the book down and told Winfrey, “I’m past it but it still hurts because it ruined my life. I spent the rest of my time trying to cover up how I felt about it, that pain.”

He then lost his composure.

After a commercial break, Bridges identified his alleged molester as Ronald [Rayton] — a musician-turned-publicist who, Bridges said, tried to take the place of his father. It was Bridges’ mother who saw her son’s behavior toward the publicist turn violent while in the privacy of the Bridges’ home.

Said Bridges: “My mother took me off of him. I think she knew right away what had happened.”

Wielding a knife, Bridges’ mother said she chased the man from their Baldwin Hills home, then phoned her son’s father — who refused to believe their son had been sexually molested.

“That really destroyed me because my father was supposed to be my protector,” said a sobbing Bridges. “He didn’t protect me.”

Before portraying Bridges’ father, Jim, in the film “Building Bridges,” Bush said he had never met Bridges’ sire. “Todd told me that his dad was a mean person and as an actor, I had to place myself in that mindset,” said Bush. “At one point, Todd told me that my acting gave him chills because so many deep-seated fears for him re-surfaced. I became his father.

“I think this was Todd’s first attempt at facing one of his more disturbing demons.”

Bush, who first met Bridges on the set of Diff’rent Strokes, added, “I am so proud of the man Todd has become and for successfully making the long journey back from the dark side. Hopefully his revealing book will help many others like him face their demons head on and turn their lives around for the better.”


Jam! Television

Celebrity Community Leader Calls for Federal Probe into Deady LA-area Fire

When the Fire Captain warned me that the fire would make a run at us in a few hours…I knew this would be a fight to the death,” says Leo Grillo, regarding the day two firefighters were killed. Now those living in the devastated area face an extremely dangerous health risk, stemming from the fire.

ACTON, CA (09/28/09) — While detectives continue to build a murder case against the culprit who set the massive wildfire that killed two firefighters, a prominent community leader today is calling for a full-scale, federal investigation into circumstances surrounding the deaths of Los Angeles County Fire Captain Tedmund Hall and Specialist Arnaldo Quinones. The pair died August 30 after their vehicle plunged some 800 feet down a steep mountain road in the Angeles National Forest. The men helped rescue dozens of inmate firefighters held captive at their campsite by roaring flames. But according to Leo Grillo, it was a situation that never should have happened. The actor and animal welfare activist says he should know because not only was he there, he bore witness to a critical error in judgment. 

Leo Grillo, a world-renowned animal rescuer. He is the founder and president of D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the largest animal sanctuary of its type in the world.

Leo Grillo is a world-renowned animal rescuer. He is the founder and president of D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the largest animal sanctuary of its type in the world.

“Firefighters know the truth, but they can’t tell you directly or they will lose their jobs,” says Grillo, whose position on this ill-fated day was to safeguard not only his family, but the largest animal shelter of its type in the world. They were both in harm’s way and bracing for what would eventually result in the largest wildfire in the history of Los Angeles County. For decades, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has served as a sanctuary, or refuge, for more than 1,500 previously abandoned and abused animals. It is also home of Horse Rescue of America. So Grillo would get no sleep. Especially not this night. “I heard the radio traffic. And I talked to disgusted fire supervisors all night long,” Grillo adds. 

After being alerted that the Station wildfire – which began in the La Cañada area — was bearing down on his safety haven, Grillo says he rounded up all his workers and security force. Like a circle of covered wagons in the darkness of night, staff members used their private vehicles to corral the sanctuary. They then flooded the area with high beams to herd the animals to safer territory. With a well-equipped firetruck and hoses at the ready, Grillo and his firefighting team prepared for war as a small army of orange flames advanced across the mountain. 

Throughout the night, Grillo says he spoke with a number of visiting, out-of-area firefighters who confessed to him their reasons the fire grew into an out-of-control monster, spreading in three different directions. Their answers were the same. “Very little air support,” Grillo says the firefighters repeated. But on the night prior, a fire had broken out in the wealthy seaside canyons of Rancho Palos Verdes, near the headquarters of the Trump National Golf Club. Aggressive nighttime air assaults at the onset of this blaze helped prevent the fire from causing widespread damage. “Yet on [the La Cañada] fire to save money, the county held off on air support,” Grillo charges. Though the flames tip-toeing from La Cañada had died by morning, a foreboding threat loomed.

With a flow of warm wind forecast for the day, Grillo says Los Angeles County should have ordered a preemptive air assault on what was identified as a mercurial area blanketed by hazardous dry brush and chaparral. “For hours, there was no air attack to easily extinguish the remaining threat,” recalls Grillo. “So I called the news radio to let the world know that we were sitting in the eye of a storm.” Thirty-two minutes after Grillo’s broadcast, a DC-10 air tanker flew overhead and dropped retardant. 

Clear skies over D.E.L.T.A. Rescue on Aug 30 favored a preemptive air assault. Photo Courtesy: Leo Grillo

Clear skies over D.E.L.T.A. Rescue on Aug 30 favored a preemptive air assault. Photo Courtesy: Leo Grillo

The four-hour delay was reportedly due to heavy smoke — an official statement Grillo charges is a fabrication. “There was no smoke or wind for hours as [documented] by my news photo,” disputes Grillo, who is an active member of the National Association of Press Photographers. 

When the fire turned treacherous, Grillo admits he feared for his life. “After the Fire Captain visited me and told me the fire would make a run at us in a few hours…I knew this would be a fight to the death,” recalls Grillo. He and ground crews stood by as the truck carrying Hall and Quinones was overtaken by a giant wall of burning mass. To date, the Station fire has blackened well over 240-square-miles of the Angeles National Forest. Scores of dwellings and invaluable properties were destroyed. 

Grillo hopes that a thorough federal investigation will result in the removal of the individual(s) responsible for withholding the air attack on this fire. “As long as these incompetents are in charge, we are not safe. Our firefighters are not safe,” he warns. 

Grillo adds that the front reason for calling for a federal investigation into the events that led up to the deaths of Hall and Quinones is “to [help] protect the lives of firefighters who put themselves on the line to defend against killer firestorms and who depend upon their superiors to protect them with air cover,” explains Grillo. 

The 2009 Station Fire near Acton, CA, was the largest in the history of Los Angeles County. Photo Courtesy: Mark Ralston AFP

The 2009 Station Fire near Acton, CA, was the largest in the history of Los Angeles County. Photo Courtesy: Mark Ralston AFP

According to latest statistics, more than 3,650 firefighters from as far away as Montana have fought the Station fire which carries an estimated cost of $78 million so far. Government data show that people were the blame for the 5,208 wildfires that occurred in Southern California in 2008. This is the only region in the United States to see a significant rise in the number of wildfires caused by humans. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist who sparked the blaze. Under California law, this figure is the maximum the chief executive can offer. 

Authorities report that several firefighters have been exposed to cyanide gas in two separate incidents as they were mopping up hot spots near Acton, where Grillo’s 150-acre sanctuary and his two state-of-the-art veterinary hospitals are located.  

Now those residing in or near the broad area of devastation face a serious health risk as pathogenic spores of the extremely dangerous coccidioides fungi continue to be unearthed. Coccidioidomycosis is an infectious, airborne disease that attacks the respiratory system of humans and animals alike. Typically known as valley fever, it is characterized by a high internal body temperature and various respiratory symptoms. If untreated and chronic, this disorder can become fatal by spreading to other organs of the body. Grillo and his medical staff are currently alerting those who live or work in the greater Acton area about this acute health hazard. People and animals with compromised immune systems are particularly in danger.  

We are testing it for now with at least one suspected case,” reports Dr. Gaylord Brown, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue’s chief veterinarian.