Despite growing up in poverty, Emilio Rivera never gave up on his dream of a show business career, and spent much of the 1990s and early 2000s climbing up the ranks of Latino actors. He started out playing small roles in various television series, including his debut appearance, on an edisode of the Lorenzo Lamas-starring action drama "Renegade" in 1992. Then in '95, he landed a minor part in Gregory Nava's critically acclaimed drama "My Family," which was followed by an appearance in "Con Air," the '97 big-budget thriller starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. This led to more film work for the likes of Steven Soderbergh in his war-on-drugs epic "Traffic" and Carl Franklin in "High Crimes," both released in the early '00s. However, one could argue that during this decade, hip-hop music videos and television gave Rivera his greatest exposure as an actor: in the 2008 season of "Weeds," he played El Coyote, a smuggler who helps Mexicans cross the border into the United States illegally, often treating them cruelly. He also played Marcus Alvarez, the leader of a Mexican motorcycle club and a worthy adversary to the main protagonists in the series "Sons of Anarchy." An established comedian, Rivera has also appeared in several films starring Jim Carrey, including "The Cable Guy" in '96 and "Bruce Almighty" in '03.