Rodolfo Pérez Acosta (July 29, 1920 – November 7, 1974) was a Mexican-American character actor who became known for his roles as Mexican outlaws or American Indians in Hollywood western films. He was sometimes credited as Rudolph Acosta.
|Born||July 29, 1920|
Chamizal, Texas, U.S.
|Died||November 7, 1974 54) (aged|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills|
|Spouse(s)||Jeanine Cohen |
Early life and education
Acosta was born to Jose Acosta and Alexandrina Perez de Acosta on July 29, 1920 in the disputed American territory of Chamizal outside of El Paso, Texas. His father, a carpenter, moved the family to Los Angeles, where Acosta was raised and graduated from Lincoln High School. Acosta studied drama at Los Angeles City College and UCLA and he appeared at the Pasadena Playhouse. At the age of 19, he received a scholarship to the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City where he studied for three years. In 1943, during World War II, Acosta enlisted in the United States Navy where he worked in Naval Intelligence.
After the war, Acosta worked on stage and in films which eventually led to a bit part in John Ford's 1947 film The Fugitive, directed by Emilio Fernández. Fernandez wrote the role of the pimp Paco for Acosta in the 1949 film Salón México, for which Acosta earned a nomination as Best Supporting Actor at the 1950 Ariel Awards. He then was placed on contract by Universal Studios, beginning with a small role in One Way Street (1950). Although Acosta was considered a romantic screen idol in Mexico and South America, his burly body and strong features led to a long succession of roles as bandits, Native American warriors and outlaws in American films. In The Tijuana Story (1957), he had a sympathetic leading role, but in general he spent his career as a familiar western antagonist.
Acosta was also a regular as Vaquero on NBC's The High Chaparral from 1967-1969. His other television appearances included Cheyenne, Maverick, Zorro, Rawhide as Ossolo, an Indian Medicine Man in "The Incident at Superstition Prairie" in 1960, Bonanza, and Daniel Boone.
In 1959, Acosta played the Kiowa Chief Satanta in the third episode entitled "Yellow Hair" of the ABC western series The Rebel, starring Nick Adams as a former Confederate soldier who wanders through the American West.
Acosta was cast on Death Valley Days as Valdez, the traveling companion of Stephen F. Austin (David McLean), in the 1964 episode "A Book of Spanish Grammar", of the syndicated anthology series. In the story line, Austin travels to Mexico City to purchase land in colonial Texas to sell to future settlers. Valdez wonders why Austin risks so much to help strangers.
- I Am a Fugitive (1946) - Esbirro del jefe
- The Fugitive (1947) - Policeman (uncredited)
- El canto de la sirena (1948)
- Rosenda (1948) - Salustio Hernández
- El gallero (1948) - El Meco
- Hermoso ideal (1948) - German Foreign Legionnaire (uncredited)
- Salón México (1949) - Paco
- Felipe de Jesús (1949) - Principe Chokozabe
- Prisión de sueños (1949)
- Vuelve Pancho Villa (1950) - Martín Corona
- One Way Street (1950) - Francisco Morales
- Pancho Villa Returns (1950) - Martin Corona
- Entre tu amor y el cielo (1950) - Miguel
- Victims of Sin (1951) - Rodolfo
- Pecado (1951) - Arregui
- Bullfighter and the Lady (1951) - Juan
- The Lovers (1951) - Alejandro / Alex Montez
- Sensuality (1951) - el Rizos
- Maria Islands (1951) - El Silencio
- La bienamada (1951)
- Retorno al quinto patio (1951) - Don Pancho
- El puerto de los siete vicios (1951) - El falcón
- Acapulco (1952) - Alfredo
- El mar y tú (1952) - Don Rufino
- El dinero no es la vida (1952) - Martín
- Yo soy Mexicano de acá de este lado (1952) - Freddy Miranda
- Yankee Buccaneer (1952) - Poulini
- Horizons West (1952) - General José Escobar Lopez
- Víctimas del divorcio (1952) - Antonio
- El billetero (1953) - Marcos Aguirre Torres
- San Antone (1953) - Chino Figueroa
- Destination Gobi (1953) - Tomec
- Wings of the Hawk (1953) - Arturo Torres
- City of Bad Men (1953) - Joe Mendoza
- Appointment in Honduras (1953) - Reyes
- Hondo (1953) - Silva
- Night People (1954) - (uncredited)
- Take Me in Your Arms (1954) - Agustín
- Passion (1954) - Salvador Sandro
- Drum Beat (1954) - Scarface Charlie
- A Life in the Balance (1955) - Lt. Fernando
- The Littlest Outlaw (1955) - Chato
- The Proud Ones (1956) - Chico
- Bandido (1956) - Sebastian
- Apache Warrior (1957) - Marteen
- Trooper Hook (1957) - Nanchez
- The Tijuana Story (1957) - Manuel Acosta Mesa
- The Last Rebel (1958) - 'Three Fingers' Jack
- From Hell to Texas (1958) - Bayliss
- Walk Like a Dragon (1960) - Sheriff Marguelez
- Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960) - Max
- Flaming Star (1960) - Buffalo Horn
- Posse From Hell (1961) - Johnny Caddo
- One-Eyed Jacks (1961) - Mexican Rurale Captain
- The Second Time Around (1961) - Rodriguez
- How the West Was Won (1962) - Gant Gang Member (uncredited)
- Savage Sam (1963) - Bandy Legs
- The Raiders (1963) - Cherokee Policeman (uncredited)
- Rio Conchos (1964) - Bloodshirt
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) - Captain of Lancers
- The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) - Bondie Adams
- Río Hondo (1965) - Camargo
- The Reward (1965) - Patron
- Return of the Seven (1966) - Lopez
- And Should We Die (1966) - Gen. Rodolfo Fierro
- The Violent Ones (1967) - Estevez
- Stranger on the Run (1967, TV Movie) - Mercurio
- Dayton's Devils (1968) - Fishing boat captain
- Impasse (1969) - Draco
- Che! (1969) - Monje - a party leader (uncredited)
- Young Billy Young (1969) - Mexican Officer
- The Great White Hope (1970) - El Jefe
- Flap (1970) - Mr. Storekeeper / Ann's Father
- Blood Legacy (1971) - Sheriff Dan Garcia
- Have Gun – Will Travel (1957-1961) - Sanchez / John Wildhorse / Pedro Valdez
- Zorro (1958-1960) - Carancho / Perico
- Cheyenne (1958-1961) - Luis Boladas / Luis Cardenas / Lobos
- The Walter Winchell File (1958) - El Gato - "The Stopover"
- Rawhide (1959-1964) - Del Latigo / Arapahoe Leader / Ossolo / Chisera
- Death Valley Days (1959-1965) - Tony Alvado / Tall Rock / Valdez / Don Diego Archeluta / Chief Spotted Tail
- Maverick (1962) - Sebastian Bolanes
- The Virginian (1962) -- Yaqui Leader - "The Mountain of the Sun"
- Bonanza (1964-1970) - Sheriff Vincente Aranda / Matar / Lijah / Juan
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1965) - Captain Ramirez
- Daniel Boone (1965-1966) - Running Fox / Gabriel
- The High Chaparral (1967-1969) - Vaquero
- Mission: Impossible (1969) - Presidente Miguel Davarro
- Ironside (1971-1973) - Sgt. Ramirez / The Police Chief (final appearance)
- Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland & Company. p. 79.
- Rodolfo Acosta at IMDb
- Reyes, Luis; Rubie, Peter (October 1, 2000). Hispanics in Hollywood. Lone Eagle. p. 412. ISBN 978-1580650250.
- "Focus on Rodolfo Acosta". The High Chaparral News. January 14, 2009. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
- ""Yellow Hair", The Rebel, October 18, 1959". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- "A Book of Spanish Grammar on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- De la Mora, Sergio (January 28, 2009). Cinemachismo: Masculinities and Sexuality in Mexican Film. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 48–57. ISBN 978-0-292-71296-6. Analysis of Acosta's performances in Víctimas del Pecado and Salon Mexico.