HONORING THE LIFE OF THE LATE RAUL JULIA
(House of Representatives - February 25, 2004)

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[Pages H584-H586]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                HONORING THE LIFE OF THE LATE RAUL JULIA

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 287) recognizing and 
honoring the life of the late Raul Julia, his dedication to ending 
world hunger, and his great contributions to the Latino community and 
the performing arts.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                            H. Con. Res. 287

       Whereas Raul Julia made his Broadway debut just a few weeks 
     after arriving in New York City in 1964 in Calderon's ``Life 
     is a Dream'';
       Whereas Raul Julia, after only 3 years of living in New 
     York City, was instrumental opening doors for nontraditional 
     parts for Hispanic actors by taking the role of Demetrius in 
     Shakespeare's ``Titus Andronicus'' at the New York 
     Shakespeare Festival and Cradeau in Sartre's ``No Exit'';
       Whereas Raul Julia was the busiest Hispanic Shakespearean 
     actor in New York and the first to establish a decades-long 
     association with Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare 
     Festival;
       Whereas Raul Julia began an impressive and productive 28-
     year association with Joseph Papp and the New York 
     Shakespeare Festival as Macduff in the Festival's Mobile 
     Unit, Spanish language production of MacBeth;
       Whereas Raul Julia became the first Puerto Rican actor to 
     conquer Broadway stages by having his work be nominated for 4 
     different Tony Awards in 10 years: ``Two Gentlemen of 
     Verona'', ``Where's Charley?'', ``Threepenny Opera'', and 
     ``Nine'';
       Whereas Raul Julia provided a role model for millions of 
     children in his role as ``Rafael, the Fix-It Man'' in Sesame 
     Street;
       Whereas Raul Julia was a dedicated leader in the fight 
     against the rising rates of teen violence and cosponsored 
     scriptwriting competitions for high school students as a way 
     to encourage teenagers to express their emotions through art 
     rather than through violence;
       Whereas Raul Julia's dedication to help Hispanic-American 
     film and television writers develop their work led him to co-
     found the Latino Playwrights Reading Workshops;
       Whereas Raul Julia was instrumental in the formation of the 
     now legendary Puerto Rico Traveling Theater, an off-Broadway 
     nonprofit Puerto Rican theater that to this day continues to 
     promote and showcase bilingual plays, new Hispanic 
     playwrights and Spanish-speaking actors while bringing 
     theater to those who cannot ordinarily afford it;
       Whereas Raul Julia was a leader in the entertainment 
     industry, particularly as a tireless mentor and role model to 
     emerging Latino actors;
       Whereas Raul Julia was a dedicated activist and 
     humanitarian who in his lifetime became a major supporter and 
     spokesperson for the Hunger Project, a nonprofit organization 
     committed to the eradication of world hunger;
       Whereas Raul Julia was tireless in his commitment to the 
     Puerto Rican film industry and to the making of Spanish 
     language films and continued to participate in small, 
     independent, Spanish-language films even after having become 
     a Hollywood star;
       Whereas Raul Julia was an extremely successful stage, film 
     and television actor who never abandoned his Puerto Rican 
     heritage, never changed his name and never gave up his 
     accent, thereby becoming an enduring role model for hundreds 
     of Latino actors;
       Whereas Raul Julia received the Hispanic Heritage Award 
     recognizing his many career achievements for the Latino 
     community, including his involvement in ``La Familia'', a New 
     York City outreach program for Latino families in need, the 
     Puerto Rican traveling theater, the Museo del Barrio, and the 
     New York Shakespeare Festival;
       Whereas Raul Julia received the National Board of Review 
     Best Actor prize for his interpretation of the political 
     prisoner Valentin in the award-winning landmark film ``The 
     Kiss of the Spider Woman'', an award he shared with his co-
     star William Hurt;
       Whereas Raul Julia posthumously received the prestigious 
     Emmy Award, Cable Ace Award, Golden Globe Award, and the SAG 
     Award, given by his fellow actors for his most famous roles 
     including Chico Mendes in ``The Burning Season'';
       Whereas Raul Julia was proud of his Puerto Rican heritage 
     and his life and work reflected his strong commitment to his 
     culture and the people of Puerto Rico;
       Whereas Raul Julia was given a state funeral in Puerto Rico 
     and since that time there have been many awards and honors 
     created in his name: a scholarship at Julliard, a scholarship 
     given to a promising young actor for the purpose of studying 
     and performing Shakespeare at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, 
     the Raul Julia Award for Excellence given annually by the 
     National Endowment for the Hispanic Arts in Washington, DC, 
     El Teatro Raul Julia in San Juan Puerto Rico, and the Raul 
     Julia Global Citizen Award, an annual award being given this 
     year for the first time by the Puerto Rican Family Institute 
     based in New York City;
       Whereas Raul Julia was recognized by the Mayor of the City 
     of New York with the creation of Raul Julia Day which was 
     celebrated and commemorated in conjunction with Puerto Rican 
     Heritage and Culture Month on November 21, 1994: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
     concurring), That the Congress recognizes and honors the life 
     of the late Raul Julia, his dedication to ending world 
     hunger, and his great contributions to the Latino community 
     and the performing arts.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. Miller) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller).


                             General Leave

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and 
extend their remarks on H. Con. Res. 287, the concurrent resolution 
under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Committee on Government Reform, I rise 
in support of House Concurrent Resolution 287 that recognizes and 
honors the life of Raul Julia.
  Mr. Speaker, this resolution celebrates the contributions of one of 
the most dynamic actors of our time. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 
March of 1940, Raul Julia began his incredible theatrical career at a 
very young age. He moved to New York City in 1964 to pursue his 
livelihood on a grander stage, and he quickly landed parts in a number 
of Spanish-language productions.
  Raul Julia made his Broadway debut 4 years later in 1968 in a show 
called The Cuban Thing. He capitalized on his Broadway success to 
acquire a role as Rafael, the Fix-It Man on Sesame Street in 1971, but 
it was later that year when Julia earned his breakthrough part. He 
played Proteus in his first Shakespeare drama, two Gentlemen of Verona, 
for which he earned his first of four Tony Award nominations. 
Ultimately, Julia became a feature film star as well, starring most 
prominently in Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1985 and The Addams Family 
movies in the early 1990s.
  Mr. Speaker, while we may best know Raul Julia for his elegance and 
success as an actor, this resolution appropriately emphasizes Raul 
Julia's remarkable humanitarian legacy. Julia worked closely with the 
Hunger Project, which is a nonprofit aid organization, to create the 
Raul Julia Ending Hunger Fund. Julia worked hard with very little 
fanfare to recruit individual and business sponsors to contribute to 
the fund for the purpose of providing food to the hungry worldwide. He 
was a diligent spokesman for both the Hunger Project, as well as the 
Raul Julia Ending Hunger Fund, and his efforts are worthy of 
commendation by this House.
  In 1994, Raul Julia's noteworthy life was cut tragically short when 
he suddenly suffered a severe stroke and died shortly afterwards at the 
age of 54. However, I am very pleased that the House is remembering 
Raul Julia's legacy by considering this legislation today, and I urge 
all Members to support its adoption.
  Mr. Speaker, I commend the gentleman from Illinois for his work to 
recognize Raul Julia.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I, too, want to thank our colleague the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Gutierrez) for introducing this resolution recognizing and honoring the 
life of Raul Julia.
  Mr. Speaker, Raul Julia was discovered by the actor Orson Bean, who 
inspired him to leave his native San Juan, Puerto Rico, and immigrate 
to the United States in 1964. Over the next three decades, Mr. Julia 
enjoyed a stellar career as one of our finest stars of stage and 
screen.
  His first love was always the stage, and he was one of the first 
Puerto Rican actors to make it big on Broadway. He was nominated for 
four Tony

[[Page H585]]

Awards, including for his performance as Mack the Knife in the 
Threepenny Opera. He also boasted an impressive resume of Shakespearean 
work, beginning with his first starring role, the title character in 
Titus Andronicus, with the New York Shakespeare Festival. It was once 
said of this daring actor that he was always outrageous in his acting 
choices. He is larger than life all the time when he is on stage.
  A wider audience grew to know him through his film work, an eclectic 
body of work that ranges from Valentin, the passionate revolutionary in 
Kiss of the Spider Woman; to the assassinated Salvadoran archbishop 
Oscar Romero in Romero; to the campy Gomez Addams in The Addams Family. 
Mr. Julia's last role, as the Brazilian rainforest activist Chico 
Mendez, won him posthumous Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.
  Raul Julia took seriously his responsibility as a role model for 
young Latino actors to follow. He made it a point to embrace his Puerto 
Rican heritage, never changing his name or attempting to cover his 
accent, and still he resisted the sort of typecasting that all too 
often afflicts minority actors. In doing so, he quite clearly made a 
difference to any young Latino who aspired to be an actor.
  In addition to his acting career, Raul Julia was tirelessly devoted 
to making the world a better place. For the last 15 years of his life, 
he was involved as a major supporter and spokesman for the Hunger 
Project, a group dedicated to ending world hunger. After his death in 
1994, the Hunger Project created the Raul Julia Ending Hunger Fund in 
his honor, as well as the Raul Julia Global Citizen Award. Also in his 
honor, the Hunger Project extended its programs in Latin America, 
establishing programs in Mexico, Bolivia and Peru.
  One of Mr. Julia's favorite quotes, which he released to the 
Washington Post in 1992, comes from Don Quixote: Maddest of all is to 
see things as they are, not as they ought to be.
  Raul Julia, accomplished actor of stage and screen, international 
activist for the alleviation of worldwide hunger and role model for a 
whole generation of Latino actors, not only saw things as they ought to 
be, but did his level best to bring his vision to pass. For that he is 
worthy and deserving of this resolution in his honor.
  I urge my colleagues to join with me in support of this important 
resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, we reserve the balance of our time.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Having no other speakers at this time, I simply urge all Members to 
support the adoption of House Concurrent Resolution 287, and I thank 
the gentleman from Illinois for introducing it.
  Mr. ACEVEDO-VILA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to demonstrate my support 
for H. Con. Res. 287 and encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of 
this important resolution honoring a very important man, Raul Julia. I 
request unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.
  As the representative of the people of Puerto Rico, I am proud to 
address you today to honor the life and work of Raul Julia. Through his 
groundbreaking work in the theater, television, and film, his 
commitment to the improvement of the Latino community, and his 
dedication to ending world hunger, Raul Julia became a role model and 
inspiration for many.
  After being discovered in a nightclub in Puerto Rico by actor Orson 
Bean, he moved to New York in 1964, when he was just 24 years old. He 
quickly found work in Broadway and paved the way for Latino actors by 
taking on nontraditional roles. He became a very well known 
Shakespearean actor, taking on roles like Othello and Edmund in King 
Lear, and was the first Hispanic to create a long lasting alliance with 
the New York Shakespeare Festival. His work on Broadway earned him 4 
Tony Award nominations in the course of 10 years.
  Julia also served as a role model for children through his portrayal 
of Rafael, the Fix-It Man in the popular children's television show 
Sesame Street, and appeared in multiple made-for-television movies. In 
addition to his theater and television credits, his film career was 
also very prolific and productive. Among his best-known roles are the 
political prisoner Valentin in The Kiss of the Spider Woman, Cardinal 
Oscar Romero in Romero, Gomez Addams in The Addams Family and its 
sequel, Addams Family Values, and slain Brazilian activist Chico Mendes 
in The Burning Season, for which he posthumously received Emmy, Golden 
Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and Cable Ace Awards.
  In addition to his acting career, Raul Julia worked to improve the 
Latino community by becoming a leader in the fight against teen 
violence and a mentor to aspiring Latino actors. He created and 
cofounded multiple projects, such as the Latino Playwrights Reading 
Workshops and the Puerto Rico Traveling Theater, and became involved in 
other programs, such as ``La Familia'', and the Museo del Barrio. 
Additionally, he was a lifelong advocate for the Hunger Project, an 
organization committed to ending world hunger. For all his community 
involvement and his career achievements, he received the Hispanic 
Heritage Award in 1995.
  Raul Julia was an exemplary Puerto Rican, and a brilliant role model 
for all. It is an honor for me today to rise and pay tribute to this 
great man's life and work. I strongly encourage this body to join me in 
praising this man's life by passing H. Con. Res. 287.
  Mr. GUTIERREZ. Mr. Speaker, the resolution we are considering today, 
H. Con. Res. 287, commemorates the life and legacy of Raul Julia and 
recognizes his role in tearing down barriers for Latinos around the 
world.
  Both on stage of off, on film and in the community, Raul Julia 
embodied the strength and spirit that made him a hero and a role model 
for so many actors and audiences alike.
  He had that rare talent, and that unique ability to move people with 
each performance and to motivate them to embody the passion and purpose 
he brought to his craft.
  Throughout his career, Raul Julia often declined traditional roles in 
Hollywood blockbusters and mainstream plays.
  Instead, he sought out innovative and groundbreaking parts that 
tested his talents.
  He shined as a Fellini-esque filmmaker in the Broadway musical Nine, 
touched our hearts as slain Salvadoran Archbishop, Oscar Romero, and 
captivated audiences as political prisoner Valentin in the award-
winning film, Kiss of the Spider Woman.
  He also was able to show his depth as an actor with characters 
ranging from Gomez Addams in The Addams Family to Chico Mendes in the 
Burning Season to Rafael the Fix-it Man in Sesame Street.
  But, what made Raul Julia so special and so one of a kind was that 
his work extended well beyond the stage and the screen.
  As committed as he was to perfecting the parts he played, he was 
equally dedicated to the charitable causes he pursued.
  That included the Hunger Project, a non-profit organization focused 
on ending world hunger.
  In 1987, Raul Julia told Elle Magazine, ``There are 38,000 people 
dying of hunger each day and most are children. And, being a celebrity, 
I communicate about it as much as I can.''
  In addition to fighting hunger on the global stage, Raul Julia was 
equally involved in local causes by working with numerous nonprofits 
and social service agencies to help families in need.
  He also was able to use his influence in the entertainment industry 
to create a culture that opened up new opportunities for Latino actors 
and writers to share their talents.
  He was instrumental in the formation of the Puerto Rico Traveling 
Theater, which continues to promote and showcase bilingual plays and 
new Latino writers and actors.
  It was this dedication and determination and vision that made Raul 
Julia a mentor and a model for so many.
  When he passed away a decade ago, thousands of people attended his 
funeral in Puerto Rico to pay their respects and to acknowledge his 
enormous contributions.
  They wanted to thank him for his courage and his character and his 
inspiration. And that is why it is so important that Raul Julia's 
memory lives on.
  So that he can inspire the next generation of actors to rehearse 
harder and to reach farther.
  And so that all people, regardless of race or country of origin, 
understand the importance of giving back to their communities and to 
addressing the problems plaguing our society.
  Mr. Speaker, the passage of this resolution provides one more 
opportunity to pay our respects to the passion and the vision of this 
one-of-a-kind actor and outstanding humanitarian and activist.
  And I urge its passage.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today 
in support of H. Con. Res. 287, a resolution to honor the life and 
achievements of the late great actor, Raul Julia.
  Julia was born in San Juan Puerto Rico on March 9, 1944. A precocious 
child, Julia discovered his talent for acting at the young age of 5. 
From then on he knew his destiny was the theatre. Upon graduation from 
the University of Puerto Rico, Julia was faced with a difficult choice 
between his parents' wishes and his own. They wanted him to continue to 
law school. He wanted to pursue an acting career. Finally, like so many 
Puerto Ricans, and so many aspiring actors, he left for New York.
  In New York, it was Joseph Papp, founder of the New York Shakespeare 
Festival, who

[[Page H586]]

gave Julia his first break after casting him as a lead in Shakespeare's 
Titus Andronicus. With the support of Papp and following in the paths 
blazed by native Puerto Ricans Jose Ferre and Rita Moreno, who had won 
acclaim for their stage and on screen performances, Julia became a 
Broadway star. He was nominated for four Tony awards and more 
importantly demonstrated that Puerto Ricans could play more diverse 
roles than the stereotypical roles they were usually given.
  While the theatre was Julia's passion, it was film that made him 
immensely popular. On screen Julia once again proved that he was a 
diverse actor, starring in comedies, dramas and action films. Perhaps, 
most of us know him best from his role as Gomez Addams in the hugely 
successful Addams Family movies.
  Julia passed away on October 24, 1994, at the age of 54. He left 
behind his wife of 28 years, two sons, and a multitude of shocked fans. 
He is sorely missed, not only for his great acting but for being such a 
great human being. He never succumbed to pressures to abandon his 
Latino-Puerto Rican heritage in order to succeed and as a result he 
opened doors for nontraditional parts for Hispanic Actors. What was 
more impressive about Julia was his dedication to the uplifting of 
others. He was a passionate supporter of The Hunger Project, a 
foundation devoted to the elimination of world hunger. For 17 years, he 
served as the Project's spokesperson. He also was a dedicated leader in 
the fight against the rising rates of teen violence and encouraged 
teenagers to express their emotions through art rather than violence.
  Since his death, there have been many awards and honors created in 
his name. They include a scholarship at Julliard, the Raul Julia award 
given annually by the National Endowment for the Hispanic Arts in 
Washington, DC, and the Raul Julia Global Citizen Award. I am also 
proud to say that in June 1996, a new elementary school in my district 
in the Bronx, New York was dedicated as the Raul Julia Micro Society 
Dual Language School.
  Mr. Speaker, for his accomplishments on stage and on screen and his 
unyielding desire to help those less fortunate than he, I ask that my 
colleagues join me in honoring the life of Mr. Raul Julia.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, we yield back the balance of our time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) that the House suspend the 
rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 287.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of 
those present have voted in the affirmative.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.

                          ____________________