Rodolfo Acosta

Rodolfo Acosta

Birthday: July 29, 1920
Born Place: Chamizal, El Paso, Texas
Birth Name: Rodolfo Acosta Perez


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Mexican character actor Rodolfo Acosta (born Rodolfo Acosta Pérez) achieved his greatest success in the US, primarily as a villain in westerns. He was born in Chamizal, a section of land disputed by Mexico and Texas due to changes in the Rio Grande river which forms the border. At the time of Acosta’s birth, the area was generally accepted by both Mexican and Texas governments as U.S. territory, and Acosta was born an American citizen. He served in the U.S. Navy in naval intelligence during World War II and married Jeanine Cohen, a woman he met in Casablanca during the North African campaign. They had four children. She filed for divorce when she found out Acosta was having an affair and sharing an apartment in Mexico City with actress Ann Sheridan in the 1950s.) They divorced in 1957. Rodolfo Acosta married again on September 18, 1971 to Vera Martinez and they had one child. She divorced him in 1974 a few weeks before his death at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. After the war, Acosta worked in Mexico in films of the great director Emilio Fernández, which led to a bit in John Ford’s film The Fugitive (1947). He came to the US and was signed by Universal for a small role in One Way Street (1950). He stayed in the US and his sharp, ruthless features led him to a long succession of roles as bandits, Indian warriors and outlaws. In The Tijuana Story (1957), he actually had a sympathetic leading role, but in general he spent his career as a very familiar western bad guy.

On September 18, 1971, Rodolfo Acosta married Vera Martinez in Las Vegas, Nevada and they had one child. She divorced him in 1974 because of his alcoholism. In late October 1974, he became a resident at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. He died a few weeks later of liver cancer on November 7, 1974 at the age of 54. He was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills and was survived by five children.

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