Beloved Puerto Rican Actor Raúl Juliá Is Being Commemorated With A New Documentary About His Life And Career

A new PBS documentary, Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage focuses on the career and life of the late Puerto Rican actor. Raúl Juliá’s is best known for his role as Gomez Addams in the film adaptations of The Addams Family, but his career was full of standout performances. Before he died, Juliá received an Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG awards, along with four Tony nominations for “Best Actor.”  

The documentary posits that Juliá wasn’t just a pioneering Latinx actor, but one of the greatest of his time. The actor’s life was cut short in 1994 when he died of a stroke at 54 years old, seemingly at the height of his career. Juliá’s body of work highlights his sprawling talent from Shakespeare to video games, he was able to capture the duality of comedy and drama. 

“The amazing and incredible story of a Puerto Rican actor who took the theater world by storm,” said director Ben DeJesus.

The documentary interviews Latinx actors he knew and influenced including Rita Moreno, Benicio del Toro, Andy García, Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales, Jimmy Smits, Ruben Blades, and John Leguizamo, along with friends and family.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 9, 1940, Juliá was raised bilingual after attending English-speaking schools. While at Colegio Espíritu Santo, in first grade, he played the devil in the Catholic school’s play. This triggered his interest in theater, but it was after watching Errol Flynn perform in The Adventures of Robin Hood, that Juliá decided he would pursue acting. By seventh grade, Juliá could speak fluent English and began his interest in Shakespeare. After college, he decided against becoming a lawyer and pursued acting full-time. 

When Juliá was singing at a nightclub in Puerto Rico, he was discovered by Broadway actor Orson Bean who was charmed by his enigmatic performance. Bean convinced him to come to New York City where he made ends meet acting in the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. 

Shakespeare with a Puerto Rican accent

 During a time when Latinxs were overlooked even for Latinx roles which were often granted to white actors, Juliá never hid his Puerto Rican accent. 

”He loved his Puerto Rican roots ferociously,” his dear friend and actor Edward James Olmos said, and the islanders adored him “beyond the wildest understanding.”

In 1967, Joseph Papp, the founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF) saw Juliá reading patriotic Puerto Rican poetry in a performance. Impressed, Papp offered Juliá the role of Demetrius in Titus Andronicus, where Juliá’s accent was fully embraced. In fact, when Papp died, Juliá credited the man for helping him obtain roles beyond the “Latin lover” stereotype. Papp and Juliá continued to work together, and the prestige allowed Juliá to snag his first role in a Broadway play, The Cuban Thing. 

Right up there with Meryl Streep and Big Bird

Juliá performed alongside Meryl Streep in Shakespeare in the Park’s rendition of Taming of the Shrew, accent and all. His success as a stage actor led to bigger roles on television including a recurring role on Sesame Street. Juliá received his first Tony Award nomination in 1972 for his role as Proteus in Two Gentleman of Verona. 

The Addams Family  

The actor’s award-winning theater career allowed him to break into Hollywood. In 1991, he nabbed his most celebrated role as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family film. Juliá loved the irreverent character and became a recognizable face in Hollywood.  

Honoring his Latinx heritage

The actor loved his Latinx heritage and brought it to all of his performances. Moreover, he was a huge humanitarian (who worked with the Hunger Project to end world hunger) and loved to tell stories that mattered. He was particularly honored to play the leading role of Archbishop Óscar Romero in a biopic. 

The El Salvadoran Archbishop was assassinated during a mass for being an outspoken advocate for human rights in Central America. He won a Golden Globe for his role as a Brazilian political prisoner in Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. Later he portrayed Chico Mendes in HBO’s The Burning Season. 

Keeping the Legacy Alive

Juliá was rumored to have stomach cancer, and his poor health became apparent in his gaunt appearance. In 1994, he suffered two strokes, the latter causing his death. 

“I put him in the hearse with my arm draped across the casket,” said Olmos of his funeral. “I looked out the window and there were tens of thousands of people — even in balconies — people applauding him all the way through to the end.”

Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage does the necessary work of reminding American audiences of a beloved Puerto Rican actor.

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IHOP Introduces Dreadful ‘Addams Family’ Menu And I Am Eating Everything


IHOP Introduces Dreadful ‘Addams Family’ Menu And I Am Eating Everything

There’s a new Addams Family film dropping October 11. The Addams Family, an animated remake of America’s spookiest, macabre family, stars Oscar Isaac as Gomez, Charlize Theron as Morticia Addams, Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley Addams, Chloe Grace Moretz as Wednesday Addams, Snoop Dogg as Cousin Itt, and Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester. 

Christina Aguilera is even said to be dropping the film’s theme song next month, but until then we will be gorging on Wednesday’s Web-Cakes. IHOP has dropped a new Addams Family-inspired menu that looks both tasty and Instagrammable. 

“Much like the new film, IHOP is putting a dreadfully delicious twist on classic menu items by adding ‘webs’ of HERSHEY’S Chocolate Syrup and white icing, violet whipped topping and more to sweet and savory favorites. The pairing of these two brands – both iconic and multigenerational – creates the perfect way for families to celebrate Halloween, one of the biggest American holidays of the year,” the restaurant stated in a press release. 

The Addams Family 

Cartoonist Charles Addams came up with the series for the New Yorker in 1938, which started as a one-panel comic about a satirically morose American family. One thing that sets them apart from other dark characters of the time is that the family is creepy but not evil, they’re sardonic but not hateful, they are generally misanthropic but they love each other. 

This is why we continue to fall in love with the family over 80 years later. The panel would inspire the 1960s television show, then, of course, the iconic movie 90s series starring Raul Julia and Christina Ricci. Now, we’ve got a new version for a new generation of kids who need a bit of that Addams Family irony in their lives. 

Wednesday’s Web-Cakes

Named after Wednesday Addams, the Web-Cakes feature IHOP’s signature buttermilk pancakes with cupcake icing, a web of chocolate drawn in Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and a violet whipped topping. If you don’t like sweets, you might want to stay away from this one. If you’ve got kids or just enjoy the portion control, you can grab the Web-Cakes as part of the Kooky Kids’ Combo, which has one Web-Cake, a scrambled egg, and one strip of bacon or sausage. 

“We wanted to take our most quintessential menu items, such as our Buttermilk pancakes, omelettes and milkshakes, and put a signature Addams Family twist on them. The menu items are so good it’s scary,” Alissa Gmelich, Vice President, Marketing at IHOP said in a press release. “Our culinary team had a lot of fun playing around with distinctive flavors and eye-catching colors to create a menu that will be delightfully spooky and delicious for families of all ages, including grown-up kids, all month long.”

Uncle Fester’s Chocolate Ice Cream Shake

IHOP has updated its “haunted” house-made milkshake, made with Hershey’s chocolate ice cream, by adding the spooky violet whipped cream topping. I feel like this is what Veronica from Riverdale should be actually sipping at Pop’s Diner.

Morticia’s Haunted Hot Chocolate

The new toasted marshmallow hot chocolate is also topped with the violet whipped cream. Who knows how this is going to taste, but at the very least you will have a lovely Instagram photo. That violet is vibrant. It may not be cold enough to start sipping hot chocolate (thanks, global warming!) but sometimes you still need those chill, fall vibes. 

Gomez Green Chili Omelette

The omelette has marinated pulled pork, jack and cheddar cheeses, fire-roasted peppers and onions, and green chile verde sauce topped with sour cream. While I don’t think the omelette is very spooky, it is nice they’re clearly paying some kind of homage to Gomez’s Latinx roots. 

Kids are welcome

Every now and then, IHOP let’s children under 12 years old eat for free, which is actually pretty cool. Kids will be able to enjoy the Kooky Kids Combo on the house from 4-10 PM from now until November 3rd. (Adults must purchase one entree to qualify.) 

“To celebrate the Halloween season, we welcome The Addams Family into our house,” said Gmelich. “The quirkiness of The Addams Family matches our own playfulness as a brand, so a partnership with MGM’s Addams Family movie felt like a great fit. Now, guests can pair an afternoon at the movies with our Addams Family-inspired menu – and a great Kids Eat Free offer – that is as kooky as it is delicious.” 

Get into the Halloween spirit with these spooky treats. At the end of the day, the only question you need to ask yourself is: do pancakes taste better or worse with chocolate and whipped cream? I think you know what your heart is saying. 

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Oscar Isaac Is Gomez Addams But Fans Are Upset That The Character Isn’t As Sexy As The Actor


Oscar Isaac Is Gomez Addams But Fans Are Upset That The Character Isn’t As Sexy As The Actor

Ever since it’s been announced that our beloved Oscar Isaac would be the voice of Gomez Addams in the animated remake of The Addams Family, set to be released this Halloween, we’ve been in an uproar. Since the cult classic 1991 feature film, we’ve all dressed up as Wednesday Addams for Halloween, and have been thirsting for more content.

The 2019 animated film will give us Academy Award-winning Charlize Theron to play Morticia, Chloe Grace Moretz to play Wednesday and Finn Wolfhard to play her brother, Pugsley. Here’s what else we know.

Everyone is pointing out that Oscar Isaac has been in cosplay all along.

@tokenscorpio / Twitter

No, this is not a promotional shot of Oscar Isaac. This is just pure Oscar channeling Gomez all his life.

Unfortunately, Oscar’s animated self has no real resemblance.

@IndieWire / Twitter

The Twitterverse is upset about this fact. We all stan a goth Charlize Theron, but one Twitter user complained that they wished Gomez was at least “hot.” Friendly reminder that this is a cartoon, gente.

This isn’t the Gomez Addams we know.

@Druiddan3 / Twitter

We validate your frustrations. But before you go public, here’s a family history lesson.

As big of a sex icon that Oscar Isaac is in all our hearts and minds, animators were not going for an Oscar Isaac likeness in Gomez.

@grimescallies / Instagram

When you typically think of the Addams’, you imagine the 1991 feature film The Addams Family, featuring Raúl Juliá. Few people think of the original comic strip and original comic Gomez that is being recreated.

That said, fans are calling for another live action so we can see Oscar Isaac in all his glory.

@RachelLeishman / Twitter

Yes, it’s disappointing that we won’t be able to admire Oscar in all his glory for the hour and change you’ll be watching this film.

But, coño, welcome to the Oscar Isaac Appreciation post you wanted.

@letterslive / Instagram

Let us help guide you past the point of pure objectification of the objectively smokin’ actor. Get to know a guy a little.

Isaac’s full name is Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada.

@oscarisaac / Twitter

“All [casting directors] would see me for was ‘the gangster’ or whatever, so I was like, ‘Well, let me see if this helps,'” he told Esquire of his name change. His father’s side has Jewish ancestry, which is honored in his middle name, Isaac. Once people started assuming he was Jewish, directors even passed on him for Latino roles. ????‍♂️

He is half Cuban and half Guatemalan.

@grimescallies / Instagram

His mother, María Eugenia Estrada, was Guatemalan. His Cuban father, Óscar Gonzalo Hernández-Cano, was a pulmonologist. Today, his sister is a climate scientist.

Isaac was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

@morganbaila / Twitter

When he was five years old, the family moved to Miami for a better life. He’s so Miami, he even went to Miami Dade for some of his college. If you’re Miami, you know.

Today, the actor is 40 years old.

@oscarisaacfandom / Instagram

This Latino stereotype we see to be true: we just keep getting better with age.

Isaac was expelled from his Christian school in 7th grade.

@oscarisaac / Twitter

Isaac told Details the likely reasons he was expelled: “I sprayed a fire extinguisher in the gym and defaced a mural. Wrote curse words on all the stairs up to the library, like s**tf**ka**, all the way to the top step. Yeah, it was just stupid, stupid.”

He was raised in a strictly Evangelical Christian household.

@La_Ney_sha / Twitter

He told Rolling Stone, “The social-conservative culture wasn’t lining up with what I was understanding Jesus was saying.” He did not see eye to eye with his parents growing up.

Which is all ironic given that his break out role was as Saint Joseph in The Nativity Scene.

@caroline_oreo / Twitter

Remember that movie your dad made you all watch every Navidad since 2006? That’s courtesy of Saint Oscar Isaac himself.

He was in a bunch of punk bands in the 1990s.

@grimescallies / Instagram

Before he ventured out into acting, he was passionate about music. Some of the ska bands he performed with include Closet Heterosexuals, Petrified Frogs, and The Worms.

Isaac went to the prestigious Juilliard.

@Tribeca / Twitter

While he was performing in bands and some stage productions, he was working on his admissions requirements for Juilliard. While at the school, he was even classmates with his future co-star in A Most Violent Year, Jessica Chastain.

Isaac won his first Golden Globe for his performance in HBO’s Show Me a Hero.

@oscarisaacfandom / Instagram

He portrayed the youngest ever mayor of Yonkers, New York, Nick Wasicsko. Wasicsko is best known for his successful desegregation of public housing.

Isaac named his son after his mother, Eugenia.

@oscarisaacfandom / Instagram

He married Danish film director Elvira Lind in February 2017. In April of that year, they had their son, Eugene, together.

His first credited film role was “Pool Boy.”

@TopherWilborn / Twitter

This was back in 1998, well before Rolling Stone dubbed him “The Internet’s Boyfriend” in 2016. Needless to say, he’s been dubbed a sex symbol, but Isaac maintains he’s the picture of monogamy.

Isaac listed his experience as an orderly at his dad’s hospital for Juilliard.

@grimescallies / Instagram

He told Vice, “When I applied to Juilliard, they asked, ‘What other jobs have you done that qualifies you?’ I put the hospital down, because you get to see the extremes of humanity there—life and death.”

We cannot wait to hear his suave adoration for all things spooky as Gomez.

@oscarisaacfandom / Instagram

With a rap sheet like Ex Machina, A Most Violent Year, and Inside Llewyn Davis in his recent history, we hope we see Isaac scoring more roles. To this day, he won’t consider himself a “movie star.” He’s simply a devoted (successful) actor.

READ: In This Interview Oscar Isaac Addresses The Fan Theory That His ‘Star Wars’ Character Is LGBT

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