Raúl Rafael Juliá y Arcelay
(March 9, 1940 — October 24, 1994) was a Puerto Rican actor who gained fame through his performances on- and off-Broadway. Nowadays, you'll most likely recognize him from his role as Gomez Addams in the two film adaptations
of The Addams Family
. Indie film lovers will probably know him as Valentine from Kiss of the Spider Woman
. He was posthumously given several awards for his performance as Chico Mendes in the Made-for-TV Movie The Burning Season
He was also the lead in Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
, but don't hold it against him - he wanted to help support public broadcasting.
On stage, he was a regular with the New York Shakespeare Festival, which produced the rock musical version of Two Gentlemen of Verona
in which he played Proteus. He also played Guido Contini in the original Broadway production 9
, and starred in revivals of Where's Charley?
, The Threepenny Opera
and Man of La Mancha
His last big-screen role was in the Street Fighter
movie, where he played Big Bad
M. Bison with all the hammy aplomb
one would expect for a role like that one (in a movie like that one
!). While the movie itself isn't considered quality cinema by any means, many would agree that Julia's performance alone is enough to make the movie So Bad, It's Good
instead of merely bad. His children were huge fans of the video games, so he selected that role in order to give them a film they could enjoy
, knowing that it would likely be the last feature he would ever do before succumbing to stomach cancer. Sadly, he was right, dying two months before the film premiered. His actual last appearance was in the TV-movie Down Came a Blackbird
, which was filmed two weeks before his death, literally
working almost until the last minute."OF COURSE!"
Roles of Note:
Tropes associated with Raul Julia
- Determinator: Not even stomach cancer could keep this man from acting.
- Large Ham: OF COURSE!
- So My Kids Can Watch: The reason why he took the role of M. Bison for the Street Fighter movie (his two sons were fans of the games). Of course, his performance was so brilliant that he was posthumously nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor.(He lost to Gary Sinise for Forrest Gump, so no shame in that.)