His name is Raúl Juliá, and he has seen evil! He has seen horror! He has seen the unholy maggots which feast in the dark recesses of the human soul!* He beheld Satan as he fell from Heaven! Like Lightniiing!!! Raúl Juliá has seen all this, troper. But until today, he has never seen... you!
Raúl Rafael Juliá y Arcelay (March 9, 1940 – October 24, 1994) was a Puerto Rican actor who gained fame through his stage performances on- and off-Broadway. Indie film lovers will probably know him as Valentine from Kiss of the Spider Woman, while mainstream audiences will most likely recognize him from his role as Gomez Addams in the two film adaptations of The Addams Family. He was also the lead in the PBS movie Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, but don't hold that against him; he only accepted the role because 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 Nine (Musical), 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 Juliá's performance alone is enough to make the movie So Bad, It's Good instead of merely bad and his performance was praised enough that he received a posthumous nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Film during the 1994 Saturn Awards for it. 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, as he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer three years prior. Sadly, he was right, dying of a stroke 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, and while on his deathbed (not that he knew it at the time), he was reading through the script for Desperado, literally working almost until the last minute.
Juliá was posthumously given several awards for his performance as Chico Mendes in the 1994 Made-for-TV Movie The Burning Season.
Roles on TV Tropes:
- The Panic in Needle Park (1971) as Marco
- The Organization (1971) as Juan Mendoza
- The Gumball Rally (1976) as Franco Bertollini
- Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) as Michael Reisler
- One from the Heart (1982) as Ray
- Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (1983) as Aram Fingal
- Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) as Valentin Arregui
- Moon over Parador (1988) as Roberto Strausmann
- Tequila Sunrise (1988) as Commandante Xavier Escalante / Carlos
- Presumed Innocent (1990) as Alejandro "Sandy" Stern
- The Rookie (1990) as Ulrich Sigmund Strom
- The Addams Family (1991) as Gomez Addams
- Addams Family Values (1993)
- The Plague (1992) as Cottard
- Street Fighter (1994) as General M. Bison
- Love of Life (1969) as Miguel Garcia
- McCloud (1970) as Father Nieves
- Sesame Street (1971–72) as Rafael the Repairmannote
- The Bob Newhart Show (1974) as Gregory Robinson
- Titus Andronicus (1967) as Demetrius
- As You Like It (1971) as Orlando
- Two Gentlemen of Verona (1971–73) as Proteus
- King Lear (1973) as Edmund
- The Threepenny Opera (1976–77) as Captain Macheath
- The Cherry Orchard (1977) as Lopakhin Ermolai Alekseevich
- Dracula (1977–80) as Count Dracula
- The Taming of the Shrew (1978) as Petruchio
- Betrayal (1979–80) as Jerry
- Othello (1979, 1991) as Othello
- The Tempest (1981) as Prospero
- Nine (1982) as Guido Contini
- Arms and the Man (1985) as Major Sergius Saranoff
- Macbeth (1989–90) as Lord Macbeth
- Man of La Mancha (1992) as Miguel de Cervantes / Don Quixote
Tropes associated with Raúl Juliá:
- Author Appeal: Although born and raised in San Juan, New York was his chosen home, and he loved it through and through. He thus preferred working in the Big Apple whenever possible.
- Determinator: Not even stomach cancer could keep this man from acting.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Both in real life and on screen, as he was literally dying from stomach cancer, and yet gave one of the most iconic performances in video game movie history in M. Bison, who moments before dying delivers a speech that if it were any hammier you would hear it oinking."You still refuse to accept... my godhood? KEEP your own God! In fact, this might be a good time to pray to Him! For I beheld Satan as he FELL FROM HEAVEN!... LIKE LIIIIIIGHTNIIIIIING!!!"
- Eye Scream: Anjelica Huston once recounted how during the filming of The Addams Family, Raúl's eye inexplicably fell out of its socket. He just put it back in and got on with the job.
- Fake Nationality: Played Brazilians in Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Burning Season, an English criminal in Mack the Knife, and a German crime boss in The Rookie.
- Large Ham: OF COURSE! Who can also forget "GAAAAAAAME OOOOOVEEEERRR!!!"?
- "Vaya con Dios."