Search Obituaries
Legends & Legacies View More

Remembering Raul Julia

Published: 3/9/2013
Content Image

Raul Julia (Getty Images / George Rose)

Raul Julia's celebrated acting career made him one of Puerto Rico's most famous native sons. Born on this date in 1940, Julia was a success on stage with multiple Tony Award nominations, and on TV and movie screens, making his mark with well-loved and award-winning roles. We're celebrating his life today with a look at some of the highlights of his career.

One of the roles that first got Julia noticed on a large scale was Rafael the Fixit Man on Sesame Street. Rafael was a recurring character in the show's third season in 1971 and '72.





Onstage, Julia often took on Shakespeare, as when he played Petruchio opposite Meryl Streep's Kate in The Taming of the Shrew.



In 1985, Julia starred in Kiss of the Spider Woman, winning the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures award for best actor.



Julia played Mack the Knife both in The Threepenny Opera on Broadway and in the film adaptation, Mack the Knife.



A new generation fell in love with Julia when he took on the role of Gomez in the big-screen adaptation of The Addams Family.



In 1994, Julia was filming The Burning Season when he became severely ill with food poisoning just a few months after having had stomach surgery (reportedly for an infection, though many suspected cancer). Despite his poor health, he finished the film and went on to complete two more that year. That fall, shortly after being hospitalized with intense abdominal pain, Julia suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma. He died October 20, 1994 at the age of 54.

For his portrayal of Brazilian environmental activist Chico Mendes in The Burning Season, Julia posthumously won the Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG awards. In the nearly two decades since his death, Raul Julia continues to be remembered and honored for his humanitarian work with The Hunger Project and numerous other organizations, as well as his fine acting.



Our Picks
Legacy.com and its newspaper affiliates publish obituaries for approximately 75 percent of people who die in the U.S. – updated continuously throughout each day – as well as government records for all U.S. deaths. Find an obituary, sign a Guest Book or build an interactive memorial. Get directions to a funeral home, order flowers or donate to charity. Read advice from experts or participate in online discussions. Thanks for visiting Legacy.com – Where life stories live on. We welcome your feedback.