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Raul Julia

Raul Julia

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Also Known As: Raul Rafael Carlos Julia Y Arcelay Died: October 24, 1994
Born: March 9, 1940 Cause of Death: complications from a stroke
Birth Place: Puerto Rico Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After years of honing his craft on the stages of New York, Raul Julia eventually became known as one his generation's most versatile and respected film actors prior to his unexpected death in 1994. Julia moved from Puerto Rico to NYC in 1964 to pursue a career in theater, quickly landing roles in off-Broadway productions and working at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Soon he was booking parts on Broadway in addition to roles on television - a recurring role on "Sesame Street" (PBS, 1969- ) among them. Julia made his feature film debut in "The Panic in Needle Park" (1971) alongside Al Pacino. Sporadic film work followed, but it was in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1985), co-starring William Hurt as a fellow political prisoner in a South American gulag, that Julia made his mark as a highly regarded, sought after acting talent in Hollywood. From that point on, Julia worked steadily in film, appearing in projects like the Sidney Lumet thriller "The Morning After" (1986), starring Jane Fonda and Jeff Bridges, and "Presumed Innocent" (1990), as the attorney of murder suspect Harrison Ford. However, it was his delightfully demented turn as Gomez Addams in the Barry Sonnenfeld comedy "The Addams Family"...

After years of honing his craft on the stages of New York, Raul Julia eventually became known as one his generation's most versatile and respected film actors prior to his unexpected death in 1994. Julia moved from Puerto Rico to NYC in 1964 to pursue a career in theater, quickly landing roles in off-Broadway productions and working at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Soon he was booking parts on Broadway in addition to roles on television - a recurring role on "Sesame Street" (PBS, 1969- ) among them. Julia made his feature film debut in "The Panic in Needle Park" (1971) alongside Al Pacino. Sporadic film work followed, but it was in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1985), co-starring William Hurt as a fellow political prisoner in a South American gulag, that Julia made his mark as a highly regarded, sought after acting talent in Hollywood. From that point on, Julia worked steadily in film, appearing in projects like the Sidney Lumet thriller "The Morning After" (1986), starring Jane Fonda and Jeff Bridges, and "Presumed Innocent" (1990), as the attorney of murder suspect Harrison Ford. However, it was his delightfully demented turn as Gomez Addams in the Barry Sonnenfeld comedy "The Addams Family" (1991) and its sequel, "Addams Family Values" (1993) that Julia was most remembered for by mainstream moviegoers. Sadly, not long after completing the Jean-Claude van Damme action adventure "Street Fighter" (1994), Julia passed away due to complications from a stroke at the age of 54. In shock, all of Puerto Rico and Hollywood mourned the passing of a man of exceptional talent, erudition, and passion for life.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Down Came a Blackbird (1995) Tomas Romero
2.
 Burning Season, The (1994) Chico Mendes
3.
 Street Fighter (1994) Bison
4.
 Addams Family Values (1993) Gomez Addams
5.
 Plague, The (1992) Cottard
6.
 Addams Family, The (1991) Gomez Addams
7.
 Frankenstein Unbound (1990) Baron Frankenstein
8.
 Presumed Innocent (1990) Sandy Stern
9.
 Rookie, The (1990) Strom
10.
 Havana (1990) (Uncredited) Bobby'S Husband
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1963:
Appeared with the Tapia Theatre, San Juan in "Bye, Bye Birdie," "The Four Poster," "The Happy Time," "Macbeth," and "Othello"
1964:
Moved to New York
1964:
New York stage debut off-Broadway in a Spanish-language production of "La Vida Es Sueno/Life Is a Dream"
1966:
Debut with Joseph Papp's NY Shakespeare Festival as MacDuff in a Spanish-language version of "Macbeth"
1968:
Broadway debut in "The Cuban Thing" (closed after one performance)
:
Hired by Joseph Papp to work as a house manager
1970:
Earliest TV work included a supporting role in "McCloud: Who Killed Miss U.S.A.?", A TV-movie which served as the pilot for the police drama series, "McCloud", starring Dennis Weaver
1971:
Feature film acting debut "Panic in Needle Park"
1971:
Appeared for a time on the long-running PBS children's series, "Sesame Street"
1971:
Breakthrough acting role, playing Proteus in a modernized, musical version of Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona", which opened in New York's Central Park at the Delacorte Theater and later moved to Broadway; during this latter time he also doubled the role of court fop Osric in a production of "Hamlet" back at the Delacorte; Broadway production garnered Julia his first of four nomination for a Tony as Best Actor in a Musical Play
1972:
Played a leading role on Broadway in the short-lived musical, "Via Galactica"; play lasted one performance
1972:
Played Hamlet with the New York Shakespeare Festival
1974:
Played the role of Edmund in support of James Earl Jones in a TV presentation of "King Lear", made as part of the ongoing PBS series, "Theater in America"
1974:
Starred on Broadway in a revival of "Where's Charley?", A musicalized revamp of the venerable stage farce, "Charley's Aunt"; received second Tony nomination
1975:
First received top billing on TV in the leading role of the much-publicized TV docudrama, "Death Scream", featuring an all-star cast in guest roles as 15 people who witnessed an actual murder of a woman and did nothing to help her; Julia played one of the police detectives on the case
1976:
Returned to feature films after five years to play a small role in the action comedy, "The Gumball Rally"
:
Starred on Broadway in a revival of the landmark Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill musical drama, "The Threepenny Opera"; received third Tony nomination for his work as MacHeath
1978:
First major role in a feature film, "Eyes of Laura Mars"
1978:
Played Petruchio (opposite Meryl Streep as Kate) in a production of "The Taming of the Shrew" staged by the NY Shakespeare Festival
1979:
Played Othello in a production staged by the NY Shakespeare Festival
1980:
Starred on Broadway opposite Blythe Danner and Roy Scheider in a production of Harold Pinter's play, "Betrayal"
1982:
Starred on Broadway in the musical, "Nine", a revamp of the landmark Federico Fellini film, "8 1/2"; received fourth and final Tony nomination as Best Actor in a Musical Play
1985:
Acted first male leads in feature films with his roles in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and in "Compromising Positions"
1985:
First TV miniseries, "Mussolini: The Untold Story", an NBC drama starring George C. Scott in the title role; Julia played an Italian count
1985:
Played Sergius in a production of George Bernard Shaw's play, "Arms and the Man", staged in NYC at the Circle in the Square
1988:
First received top billing in features with "The Penitent" and "Trading Hearts"
1988:
Played the title role in the ABC biographical miniseries, "The Richest Man in the World: The Story of Aristotle Onassis"
1990:
Played Macbeth in a stage production directed by actor Richard Jordan
1991:
Played male leading role of Gomez opposite Anjelica Huston in one of his most popular feature films, "The Addams Family"
1991:
Played Othello again in a production by the NY Shakespeare Festival, with Christopher Walkin co-starring as Iago
1992:
Last starring role on Broadway, as Don Quixote in a revival of the musical drama, "Man of La Mancha"
1993:
Narrated the ten-part PBS documentary series, "Americas", about the history of Latin America and the Caribbean
1993:
Last feature film released during lifetime, "Addams Family Values", in which he reprised the role of Gomez Addams
1994:
Last TV work aired during his lifetime, "The Burning Season", an HBO movie about environmental activist Chico Mendes
1994:
Last TV work, "Down Came a Blackbird", scheduled to be aired on Showtime
1994:
Last film, "Street Fighter"; released planned for December 1994
1995:
Received a posthumous Emmy for his work in "The Burning Season"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Puerto Rico: -

Notes

Julia was very active in The Hunger Project, an organization which worked to help fight malnutrition worldwide.

Julia was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1996.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Merel Poloway. Former dancer. Married on June 28, 1976; second wife.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Raul Julia. Restaurateur.
mother:
Olga Julia. Survived him.
sister:
Maria Eugenia Julia. Survived him.
sister:
Olga Maria Julia. Survived him.
son:
Raul Sigmund Julia. Mother, Merel Poloway; survived him.
son:
Benjamin Rafael Julia. Mother, Merel Poloway; survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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