Though he claimed to be a born-and-bred Californian, Julian Rivero was actually born in Texas. Rivero started out as a Shakespearean actor under the tutelage of Robert B. Mantell. He made his film debut in the New York-filmed The Bright Shawl (1923), then relocated in Hollywood, where he remained active until 1973. Most often cast in Westerns, he played opposite such horse-opera heroes as Buck Jones, Hoot Gibson, and Harry Carey. His parts ranged from such bits as the barber in John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1947) to the major role of ruthless Mexican General Santa Anna (which he played sympathetically) in Heroes of the Alamo (1937). The addition of a well-groomed, snow-white beard enabled Rivero to play dozens of aristocratic Latin American patriarchs in the 1950s and 1960s. Julian Rivero was the husband of former Mack Sennett bathing beauty Isabelle Thomas.