R.L. Tolbert was born in Fountain, Colorado and was raised on ranches in the area. While still in his teens, RL started breaking horses for various ranches around southern Colorado. In 1964, he joined the Rodeo Cowboys Association, and rodeoed on the east coast where he often worked all five events. For the next few years, RL rodeoed in the west, spending much of the winters in Tucson, Arizona and Southern California, which eventually lead him to the movie business, and has had his Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) card since 1975.
While working as a stuntman/stunt coordinator, RL also trained stunt horses, one, El Guapo, became a liberty horse, and worked on many movies such as Angel Hart, Renegade, Pensacola, Return to Lonesome Dove, Conagher, Mask of Zorro, Wooly Boys, and many more. El Guapo was retired after Wooly Boys and spent the rest of his life out to pasture with his buddy, Roanie. El Guapo died at age 34; they are buried next to each other in a pasture in Oregon.
RL became a member of the Stuntman's Association of Motion Pictures in 1977, and is also a member of the Director's Guild of America. Some of his credits include: The Sacketts (1979), Wild Times (1980), Shadow Riders (1982), The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), Silverado (1985), Rodeo Girl (1980), Three Amigos (1986), Angel Hart (1987), Mask of Zorro (1998), Conagher (1991), Desperate Trail (1994), The Quick and the Dead (1987), 1941 (1979), Back to the Future II (1989) & III (1990), Pale Rider (1985), The Rookie (1990), Wild Wild West (1999), Comes a Horseman (1978), Far and Away (1992), Tombstone (1993), and many many more.