Carlos Rivas, thesp who starred in Mexican and U.S. films (including a featured role in “The King and I”) and who was one of the founders of the Nosotros Organization, died of prostate cancer Monday in Beverly Hills. He was 78 and had been ill for several years.
El Paso, Texas, native was a leading man in Mexico, appearing in more than 20 films and playing opposite some of that country’s top stars including Dolores Del Rio, Maria Felix and Marga Lopez. He caught the eye of Darryl F. Zanuck, who cast him as Lun Tha, the lover of Tuptim (Rita Moreno) in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King And I.”
He went on to work with some of Hollywood’s top directors including John Huston in “The Unforgiven,” Alfred Hitchcock in “Topaz,” and Henry Hathaway in “True Grit.” In all, he worked in more than 40 pictures, including more recent appearances in Allison Anders’ “Gas Food Lodging” and “Mi vida loca.”
He guested on many TV series, including “Bonanza,” “The Virginian,” “The High Chaparral,” “Barnaby Jones,” and “Mission: Impossible.”
He also frequented on L.A. stages, appearing in Matt Crowley’s “Remote Asylum” at the Ahmanson as well as Fernando Arrabal’s “Ceremony for an Assassinated Black Man” at the Nosotros Theater.
In 1969, he was a founding member of the Nosotros Organization, along with Ricardo Montalban, Henry Darrow and others to improving the image of Latinos/Hispanics as they are portrayed in the entertainment industry as well as help further the training and careers of such thesps. Org recently honored Rivas with its Golden Eagle Award for lifetime achievement.
He is survived by his wife Sylvia, a daughter and a granddaughter.
Services were to be private with a memorial to be announced later.