Raúl Juliá was a Puerto Rican actor who fell in love with the theater and films as a child. He moved to New York City in 1965 to further his dreams as an actor and won his first Tony award nomination in 1972, the first of four nominations during his career. Despite his accomplishments in theater, he is best remembered for his work in film, including Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Addams Family.
Actor. Born Raul Rafael Carlos Julia y Arcelay on March 9, 1940, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Julia fell in love with the theater and films as a child. While studying at the University of Puerto Rico, he performed in productions in San Juan and sang in a musical group. He later moved to New York City in 1964 to further his dreams as an actor.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Julia primarily worked on the stage. He earned his first Tony award nomination in 1972 for his work in the Shakespearean comedy Two Gentlemen of Verona. And a second nomination followed only three years later for his role as Charley in Where's Charley? He received a total of four Tony award nominations during his career.
Despite his numerous accomplishments in the theater, Julia is perhaps best remembered for his work in film. He starred in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) with William Hurt, playing a political prisoner. Julia won much critical acclaim for this role. Showing his versatility as an actor, he took a comedic turn, playing Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993).
After suffering a stroke a few days earlier, Julia died from complications on October 24, 1994. He received several awards after his death for his performance as Brazilian rainforest activist Chico Mendes in the 1994 television film, The Burning Season, including an Emmy award. Other work released posthumously, included the film and video game Street Fighter (1994) and the TV movie Down Came a Blackbird (1995).
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