Raúl Juliá is most known for his role as the debonair loving father and husband Gomez Addams of the Addams family.
But I bet you didn't know he got his start acting in Shakespearean roles in the 70s after moving from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York. His success on stage let to his budding career on the big screen.
Below is a list of five of Juliá's greatest roles in cinema. Although his career spanned over twenty years, I still feel he had much more to offer before his time was cut short as he passed away after experiencing a stroke.
1. Valentin Arregui in Kiss of the Spider Woman
In Kiss of the Woman Spider, Juliá plays a tortured inmate who is sent to prison due to his involvement in a leftist revolutionary group in Brazil. He shares a cell with a homosexual man who has been thrown in there due to his participation in act with a minor.
He portrays such a pained and desperate character, you couldn't help but have immense empathy for the characters as you watched him slowly die by the hands of the guards.
2. Gomez Addams in The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values
Smooth, loving, and incredibly chipper, Juliá most famously embodied the world-recognized occult-loving father and husband. I could completely believe the love and passion between him and actor Anjelica Huston, who portrayed Morticia in the film.
He almost has more chill Rhett Butler vibe about him, which I am completely into.
3. Chico Mendes in The Burning Season
Based on the true life story of Chico Mendes, Juliá stars as the man who meant to put up a fight and protect the rainforest and was after murdered by ranchers who opposed him. Juliá brought such vulnerability and strength to his performance as the activist who gathered all his courage and energy for a god cause. This was Juliá's last film before he unfortunately passed away.
4. Bison in Street Fighter
Raúl Juliá plays the character Bison, a would-be evil dictator who is set out to take over the world's governments. Juliá truly played out this merciless, stone-cold personality to a tee, as witness in this scene from Street Fighter below:
5. Strom in The Rookie
Juliá plays a German felon Strom, who engages in grand theft auto and chop shop operations. A complete 180 from the loving and smiling Gomez Addams, Juliá displayed his skills at portraying a criminal with no sense of morals.
R.I.P. Raúl Juliá. You may have left us, but I will never forget your incredibly passionate and impressive acting skills.
Also, I have to mention the intense chemistry between him and Anjelica Huston was so believable and loving, I still look at Morticia and Gomez's passionate relationship as inspiration for my very own.