American actor (1940-1994). Real name: Raul Rafael Carlos Julia y Arcelay. Julia was discovered while performing in a nightclub in his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico by actor Orson Bean. He moved to New York City in 1964 and began working in off-Broadway plays. Soon, he moved up to higher-profile work, playing Edmund in "King Lear" in 1973 and the title character in "Othello" in 1979, as well as performing in musicals: "Two Gentlemen of Verona" in 1971, "The Threepenny Opera" in 1976, and "Nine" in 1982. He also played Rafael for a season or two on "Sesame Street" in the early 1970s.

After moving up to films, Julia had a number of memorable roles in movies that were rarely commercial successes. He played a political prisoner in "Kiss of the Spider Woman", controversial archbishop Oscar Romero in "Romero", and a flamboyant attorney in "Presumed Innocent". His most successful role came as swashbuckling goofball Gomez Addams in "The Addams Family" and "Addams Family Values".

After he was diagnosed with cancer in 1993, Julia played Chico Mendes, a Brazilian rain forest activist in a made-for-cable movie called "The Burning Season". He suffered a stroke in mid-October of 1994, fell into a coma, and was put on life support. He died about a week later; his body was flown back to Puerto Rico, where thousands of mourners turned out for his funeral.

He won posthumous Emmys and Golden Globes for "The Burning Season", and his last movie, "Street Fighter", was dedicated to his memory. Though "Street Fighter" was a mostly forgettable video-game movie, Julia's role as the evil dictator M. Bison does a lot to redeem it, and he had the film's best line.

Partial Filmography:
Research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.