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American Masters: Raúl Juliá — The World's a Stage

Friday, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. — Discover the life of the charismatic Puerto Rican actor known for his versatile roles.

 

American Masters: Raúl Juliá — The World's a Stage

More About American Masters: Raúl Juliá — The World's a Stage

American Masters and Latino Public Broadcasting’s Voces join forces to present the first documentary about Raúl Juliá, the versatile Puerto Rican actor whose work on stage and screen took the world by storm.

From award-winning director Ben DeJesus, Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage is a warm and revealing portrait of the charismatic, groundbreaking actor’s journey from his native Puerto Rico to the creative hotbed of 1960s New York City, to prominence on Broadway and in Hollywood. Filled with passion, determination and joy, Juliá’s brilliant and daring career was tragically cut short by his untimely death 25 years ago, at age 54.

The son of a prominent San Juan family, Juliá was discovered by Broadway actor Orson Bean, who heard Juliá’s powerful singing at a popular nightclub while vacationing in Puerto Rico. Encouraged by Bean, and despite the concern of his family, he moved to New York City in 1964. Although struggling at first to make ends meet, Juliá quickly earned roles with travelling troupes that played in neighborhoods throughout the city, and was soon performing with the acclaimed New York Shakespeare Festival.

Ever-present throughout Juliá’s story is the cultural landscape of the entertainment world and the boundaries he broke. Before diversity and inclusion efforts were part of the national conversation, the big man with the engaging personality and accent was able to amass a varied body of timeless work that helped pave the way for Latino actors today. He was also a passionate and pioneering advocate of social causes, including ending hunger. In Juliá’s words, “It’s all done within a context of love. That’s the beauty of it, you see?”

Watch a Preview of American Masters: Raúl Juliá — The World's a Stage