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Carlos Rivas, 78; Mexican American Actor in TV, Movies

Obituaries | PASSINGS

June 20, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Carlos Rivas, 78, a leading Mexican American character actor who had a long list of credits in films and television, died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from prostate cancer.

A native of El Paso, Rivas appeared in more than 20 movies on the Mexican side of the border opposite stars such as Dolores Del Rio and Maria Felix. Rivas was signed by Darryl F. Zanuck who cast him as Lun Tha, the lover of Tuptim, played by Rita Moreno, in the 1956 film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The King and I."

He went on to work in more than 40 movies including John Huston's "The Unforgiven," Alfred Hitchcock's "Topaz" and Henry Hathaway's "True Grit."

He was also a familiar figure on television, guest-starring in shows such as "Bonanza," "The Virginian," "Barnaby Jones" and "Mission: Impossible."

Rivas was a charter member of Nosotros, the Los Angeles-based organization that works to improve the image and employment of Latinos in the entertainment industry.

The organization honored him recently with its Golden Eagle award for lifetime achievement.

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