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Raul Julia Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (14)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Died in Manhasset, New York, USA  (complications from a stroke)
Birth NameRaul Rafael Carlos Julia y Arcelay
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Raul Julia was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Olga Arcelay, a mezzo-soprano singer, and Raúl Juliá, an electrical engineer. He graduated from Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola High School in San Juan. Here he studied the rigorous classical curriculum of the Jesuits and was always active in student dramatics. Julia was discovered while performing in a nightclub in San Juan by actor Orson Bean who inspired him to move to the mainland to pursue other projects. Julia moved to Manhattan, New York City in 1964 and quickly found work by acting in small and supporting roles in off-Broadway shows. In 1966, Julia began appearing in Shakespearean roles, creating a deliciously conniving Edmund in "King Lear" in 1973 and a smoldering Othello in 1979. Julia also made his mark on the musical stage playing one of the "Two Gentlemen of Verona" during its run in 1971, and a chilling role of Mack the Knife in "The Threepenny Opera" in 1976 and as a Felliniesque film director in "Nine" in 1982. The stage successes led to his movie works where he is better known.

One of his best movie roles is a passionate political prisoner in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985). Julia also appeared as dramatic heroes and memorable villains in a number of films and made-for-TV-movies. His later roles included the crazy macabre Gomez Addams in two Addams Family movies. With his health declining from 1993 onward after he underwent a surgical operation for stomach cancer, Julia kept on acting, where he traveled to Mexico during the winter of 1993-1994 to play the Brazilian Amazon forest activist Chico Mendes in The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story (1994), for which he posthumously won a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award. His last theatrical movie was filmed shortly after The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story (1994) when he traveled to Australia to shoot all of his scenes for Street Fighter (1994), based on the popular video game where he played the villainous General M. Bison. His last role was a supporting part in another made-for-TV movie titled Down Came a Blackbird (1995).

On October 16, 1994, the weakened and gaunt Raul Julia suffered a stroke in New York City where he fell into a coma a few days later and was put on life support. He was transferred to a hospice in nearby Manhasset, Long Island where his weakened body finally gave up the struggle on October 24, at age 54. His body was flown back to Puerto Rico for burial where thousands turned out for his state funeral to remember him. Two honoring ceremonies were held at Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola High School, and at the Headquarters of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture prior to his burial.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: matt-282

Spouse (2)

Merel Poloway (28 June 1976 - 24 October 1994) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Magda Vasallo (1965 - 1969) ( divorced)

Trivia (14)

Was nominated for four Best Actor (Musical) Tony Awards: in 1972, for "Two Gentlemen of Verona", in 1975 for a revival of "Where's Charley?", in 1977, for playing Macheath in a revival of "The Threepenny Opera", and in 1982 for "Nine". He never won.
Died while in a coma just days before his last theatrical movie, Street Fighter (1994), was finished. The film is dedicated to his memory. He accepted the role of M. Bison because his children were fans of the video games.
Buried at Buxeda Cemetery (Cemeterio Buxeda) in Cupey, Puerto Rico.
Earned a B.A. in drama from University of Puerto Rico.
Godfather of writer Mylo Carbia.
He was a passionate supporter of The Hunger Project, a foundation devoted to the elimination of world hunger. For 17 years, he served as the Project's spokesman.
His father was the pioneer who brought pizza to Puerto Rico when he added it to the menu of his already popular fried chicken.
Member of the Phi Sigma Alpha fraternity in Puerto Rico
He is one of a few artists to be given a state funeral in his native Puerto Rico.
He is the only man to win the Emmy Award and the Golden Globe posthumously.
Originally cast for the role of Bucho in Desperado (1995), but he got sick during filming and had to be replaced. He passed away shortly after.
Was originally supposed to play Don Diego De la Vega in The Mask of Zorro (1998), but died before he could take the role.
In an interview, he once stated that being recognized as Gomez Addams by children always brought a smile to his face. His family later said that this meant a lot to him during the final months of his life.
Father of two sons with Poloway, Raul and Benjamin.

Personal Quotes (3)

What's behind me is not important!
I knew there was something special about the theatre for me. Something beyond the regular reality, something that I could get into and transcend and become something other than myself.
There are 38,000 people dying of hunger each day and most are children. And, being a celebrity, I communicate about it as much as I can.

See also

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