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Jorge Rivero – Mexico’s film superstar talks about what’s missing in Hollywood

Jorge Rivero

Jorge Rivero at his Hollywood Hills home.

(This story was first published on

Even though he has retired from movies and the entertainment industry, Mexico’s biggest movie star Jorge Rivero says he still keeps an eye on Hollywood from his home nestled up above the city in Hollywood Hills. The 75-year-old actor starred in some 150 movies from the 1960’s to 1990’s. He starred in films featuringJohn Wayne and Charlton Heston in Hollywood. In Europe, he was directed by legendary writer/ producer/director Lucio Fulci, where he admitted he enjoyed it more there than in he USA.

Rivero, a handsome and muscular Mexican leading man ironically, in his first film he played a masked wrestler and his face was never shown. He became a sex symbol and a major box-office star. Later, he was called by Hollywood to star with John Wayne in Howard Hawks’s Rio Lobo (1970). Since the 1980s he has worked only occasionally in Mexican films and soap operas — he has resided Southern California for more than three decades — and appears in international productions, sometimes billed as “George Rivero.”

Jorge Rivero

Actor Jorge Rivero has made more than 150 films in Europe, Mexico, and Hollywood.

During the 1970’s, way before Antonio Banderas’, Gael García Bernal and others  defined Latino actors, Rivero was a film hit during the days when Mexico was putting  out 200 films a year. In Europe, his powerful, buff physique at six feet high attracted  leading ladies all over the world like Spanish sex symbols Sandra Mozarowsky and Ana  Obregon. The film superstar also worked with superstars like Miss Europe’s Pia  Giancaro and Daniel Giordano during the height of his career in the 70’s. This Examiner  met up with him at his Hollywood Hills home, where he resides with his wife, Betty for a  look back at an amazing movie career.

 Jorge, what are you doing these days and are you still acting in Hollywood?
“I kind of retired in a way and having a good time in retirement,” he said. “I have a very    good life, I have a hell of a home. I travel when I can. I still have family in Mexico, where  I go visit them and I travel around the world.” How did you get interested in the movie  business? “I watch a lot of movies and always wanted to be an actor myself. So while I  was attending the University of Mexico I asked around how to become an actor. A friend  at the university told me he knew someone who represented actors and took me there. At that time, they were going to do a movie with Santo”, a wrestler guy with a mask. He was like Batman and Robin. So I was played Robin, of course, while Santo” played Batman with his mask, cape, and the whole outfit. That movie really put me on the map,” said Rivero.

Jorge Rivero

Actor Jorge Rivero is all smiles as he keeps his eye on the filmmaking business from his Hollywood Hills home.

What movie among your 150 films would you do again if you could go back to the future? “I would do them all and this why. It’s because each time I read the script. When I read the script then I decide to do the movie or not do the movie. It didn’t matter if the movie was good or bad. What mattered was good editing, good music, a good director, good actors and many other considerations. I liked them all,” explained Rivero.

How has Hollywood filmmaking changed? And what is it missing? “I will tell you what’s missing. Everything, because it is all done with computers right now. I saw the Three Musketeers and now they fly. This was the 15th Century, they were fighting with swords and they were flying. I don’t like computers so much or animation,” he explained. “It was different and were talking about different times. It was very nice when I made movies with John Wayne here in Hollywood. I also made a movie with Charlton Heston and other great guys here. It was different and there were no computers. In Italy, they shot movies between the way we did it in Mexico and the way we did it in Europe. So Italian movies in a Mexican style. I had to learn the Italian language and speak Italian, which was very easy for me because it’s very similar to Spanish so I picked it up very fast,” Rivero said.

Who was your favorite actor or actress to work with in a movie? “They were all good because everyone did their best on camera,” he said. How did you get interested in the movie business? “I watch a lot of movies and always wanted to be an actor myself. While I was attending the University of Mexico, I asked around how to become an actor. So a friend at the university told me he knew someone who represented actors and took me there. At that time they were going to do a movie with ‘Santo”, a wrestler guy with a mask. He was like Batman and Robin. So I was play Robin of course, while ‘Santo” played Batman with his mask, cape and the whole outfit. That movie really put me on the map,” he said.

Jorge Rivero

Actor Jorge Rivero poses for a shot with Writer George McQuade III in Hollywood, CA.

 Who was your biggest inspiration in Hollywood? “I admired Richard  Montalban because he was the big actor of my past generation before me.  Ricardo Montalbán, who was a Mexican actor, inspired me to get into  acting and Hollywood. His career spanned seven decades, during which he  became known for many different roles.” During the 1970s, he was a  spokesman in automobile advertisements for Chrysler, including those in  which he extolled the “soft Corinthian leather” used for the Cordoba‘s  interior,” Rivero said.

Montalbán played Mr. Roarke in the television series Fantasy Island. He  played Khan Noonien Singh in the original Star Trek series (in the 1967  episode “Space Seed“) and the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  He won an Emmy Award in 1978 for his role in the miniseries How the  West Was Won and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors  Guild in 1993.

Who was your mentor? What advice would you have for budding actors? Jose Rosec, who was a great actor and was in American movies, too. He didn’t have very big parts, but I like him. I worked with him in my first western and he gave me great advice, said Rivero. “What happens today is a totally a different ball game. Now, everything is computerized. For example, they tell you, ‘you see those lines? Stand over there’ and the guy behind the camera, he’s reading the lines. When I went for a reading before computers arrived, there was a director, assistant director, a producer and an actor, who gave you the lines back. It was a big difference. You also had a small chat with the producer, who was ask, ‘where you from, and so and so on? And then the producer would say let’s do the scene.’ It’s A totally different ball. Now, the guy behind the camera would tell you to , ‘stand over there’, you probably have to cry, the camera guy looking behind the lens and looking down reading the lines, how can he do it? It’s not the same. I miss those days because it was personal. Now, it’s all impersonal, said Rivero.

Jorge Rivero

Actor Jorge Rivero talks to Aida Mayo about his storied career in movie making at this Hollywood Hills home.

 What legacy or what would you like your fans to have or remember  you in movies?“I was a very positive actors,” he said. “My fans have  always been very nice to me, it doesn’t matter what the movie was. I have a  good state of mind, always positive. My fans love that.

 What’s your favorite motto you live by? “Be a good bullfighter in your  life,” Rivero said. “Don’t confront people, let it go. Don’t fight and walk  away. It always worked for me. My father used to say, “In life you have to  be a good bullfighter. If you are bull fighter use common sense, step aside  and let the bull go by you, not through you. You don’t stand in front of the  bull or he will shut you down.” Confrontations don’t take you anywhere.”

LA Press Club honors the best SoCal Journalist at red carpet awards event

LA PRESS CLUB AWARDS on the Red Carpet

(L-R) NBC Anchor Robert Kovacik, Willow Bay, USC Anneberg School of Journalism and Cheryl Calvin.

LA PRESS CLUB AWARDS (this story appeared 1st on

Today we see greater diversity in the newsroom and in the ways we provide information. ThePress Club has been striving to embrace Internet journalists and bloggers–clearly the wave of the future. The Southern California Journalism Awards, now celebrating 56 years of recognizing high-caliber journalism, continues to call attention to the Los Angeles area’s fine journalists while promoting excellence in new and emerging media.

LA press received a record amount of newspaper, magazine, TV and radio entries at the club‘s 57th Southern California Journalism Awards at the star-studded red carpet event held at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA, Sunday, June 28th.“We had more than a thousand journalist entries this year, which is a new record and all that competition makes it more special,” said Robert Kovacik, president, LA Press Club. “Many of these journalists were schooled by Willow Bay, director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, who received the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement.

LA Press Club mixer with Robert Kovcik

LA Press Club President Robert Kovaci at the mixer prior to the dinner and awards program.


 photos by Antonella Carla

The most prestigious award was presented by philanthropist and USC Trustee Wallis Annenberg. Bay, now entering her second year as School of Journalism director, is a veteran television journalist as well as a digital news editor and author. She was the first woman to co-anchor CNN’s financial news program “Moneyline News Hour,” and has anchored or co-anchored numerous shows on CNN, NBC, MSNBC and ABC. She helped guide the early expansion of The Huffington Post, where she still serves as Senior Strategic Adviser, and she works as a special correspondent for Bloomberg TV.

LA Press Club Awards

On the red carpet at the LA Press Club’s 57th Annual Awards event in Downtown LA at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

“She has inspired her colleagues as an anchor and correspondent with engaging, intelligent and insightful reporting. Now she is inspiring future generations at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. And how lucky we are to have her right here in our own backyard,” said Kovacik. Bay is also an author, as well as a highly sought-after moderator at key forums for thought leaders and has led panels with prominent politicians, philanthropists, athletes, cultural figures and CEOs such as Jeff Bezos (, Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), Howard Schultz (Starbucks) and Larry Page (Google). At The Huffington Post, she interviewed Warren Buffet, Sheryl Sandberg and the Dalai Lama for the site’s first global live-streaming event.

“The LA Press Club is such a vital part of this city’s journalism ecosystem,” Bay said. “I am deeply honored to receive the Quinn Award and join the list of remarkable past winners.”TheQuinn Award was established in 1979 in the name of the late Joseph M. Quinn, a former Press Club president, and war correspondent who built City News Service and founded the club‘s awards program in 1957. The award has been presented to local and national journalists, including Walter Cronkite, Otis Chandler, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Ann Curry, Judy Woodruff, Warren Olney and Patt Morrison.

Also at the Press Club‘s Awards gala, USC Annenberg students competed with professional journalists in a roster of categories. Students at Neon TommyAnnenberg Radio News, Annenberg TV News, and Intersections South L.A. had a total of 55 nominations, also a new record. For a list of the winners visit the LA Press Club‘s website: