Emilio Rivera was born on February 24th 1961 in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A; he was the oldest child of four brothers and three sisters. When Emilio was a young boy his family moved to Elysian Valley, Los Angeles nicknamed Frog Town and Emilio continued to seek the attention of those around him. His first experience with acting was in his third grade production of “Rumpelstiltskin”. Emilio admits his childhood was not easy growing up as a minority in a poor section of town. As he grew up Rivera became known for his fighting abilities, and soon earned the nickname “Lefty” referring to his ability to knock opponents unconscious with a single left handed punch.
“People always say fake it till you make, I say don’t , because if for some reason you don’t make it, all that faking will catch up to you.”
The acting bug that was born through Rivera’s “Rumpelstiltskin” play continued to grow and though becoming an actor was very challenging for someone who grew up as part of a minority group in a poor section of Los Angeles, Rivera persevered and even worked as a mechanical engineer while he pursued his dream. Rivera knew it would be a big risk with all the training, discipline and extensive hours of studying but he admits it changed his life forever. Those around him were amazed at the positive yet radical change and realised he had found his true passion in life.
In 1992 Rivera was cast in his first television role. He played Rafe in an episode of Renegade entitled “Payback.” Roles followed in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Beverly Hills, 90210, My Family, JAG, Murder Was the Case: The Movie, Rage Extreme Blue and The Cable Guy.
In 1996, Rivera landed the role of Lucien Cortéz in the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. He would go on to play Cortéz for a long run before then hitting the big screen again as Carlos in Con Air. He also began to gain a name for himself as a stand-up comedian:
Rivera followed this up with roles in Soldier of Fortune Inc, Walker Texas Ranger, L.A. Heat, The X-Files, Guilty as Charged, Traffic, NYPD Blue, Tomcats and ER. Then in 2002 came the role of Rico in the hit comedy Ali G Indahouse:
More roles on the big screen and small screen followed including The Shield, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Son of the Beach, Robbery Homicide Division, Bruce Almighty, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Kojak, Fun with Dick and Jane, Bones, My Name is Earl, Spider-Man 3, Delta Force, Weeds, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, CSI: NY, Lie To Me, The Obama Effect, and Gang Related.
In 2008, Rivera landed the role of Mayans MC leader Marcus Alvarez in the hit show Sons of Anarchy he would play the role for the entire six seasons of the series and will soon reprise the role in the sequel series Mayans MC.
Following on from Sons of Anarchy came Hitman: Agent 47, Lawless Range, Z Nation, Hand of God, and Saints & Sinners; so after 25 years Emilio Rivera continues to wow us on the screen and the stand up comedy stage! Whilst we await Mayans MC riding on our screens we await what he will do next.