Raul Rafael Julia y Arcelay (1940-1994) was a Puerto Rican actor who gained fame through his performances on- and off-Broadway. Some moviegoers may 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 Nine, 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 one he would ever do before succumbing to stomach cancer.
Roles of Note:
- Gomez Addams in The Addams Family and Addams Family Values
- General M. Bison in Street Fighter
- Aram Fingal in Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
- Valentin Arregui in Kiss of the Spider Woman
- Chico Mendes in The Burning Season
Tropes associated with Raul Julia
- 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).
May he rest in peace.