Merel Poloway is an actress, known for Baby It’s You (1983), American Masters (1985), and The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1995). Merel Poloway is also popular for being the wife of Raul Julia.
Merel Poloway’s husband Raul Julia was a Puerto Rican actor. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he took an interest in acting while still in school and pursued a career upon completion of his studies. After performing locally for some time, he was convinced by actor and entertainment personality Orson Bean to move and work in New York City. Juliá, who had been bilingual since his childhood, soon gained interest in Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. He took over the role of Orson in the Off-Broadway hit Your Own Thing, a rock musical update of Twelfth Night. He performed in mobile projects, including the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.
How did the two love birds, fall in love, and get married. While rehearsing for an Off-Broadway play, Raul met his wife, Merel Poloway. The two started dating. In 1976, Juliá played Mack the Knife in The Threepenny Opera, interpreting the dialogue with a marked British accent. The performance earned him a third Tony Award nomination. He followed this performance with a turn as Italian car racer Franco Bertollini in The Gumball Rally.
That same year, Merel Poloway and her husband, Juliá got married in the Catskill Mountains. The ceremony was led by Swami Muktananda as part of a spiritual retreat. In 1983, his first son with Poloway, Raúl Sigmund Juliá, was born. In 1987 Merel Poloway and her husband had their second son, Benjamín Rafael Juliá.
Merel Poloway and her husband who was Jewish decided not to raise their children in any particular religious way, believing that they should make their own decision after growing older.
On October 16, 1994, Juliá and Poloway attended the Metropolitan Opera in New York; afterward, Juliá began feeling intense abdominal pain and was taken by ambulance to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island. At first, he did not appear worried by his condition and was seen reviewing the script for his intended role in Desperado from his hospital bed, but his condition gradually worsened.
On the night of October 20, Merel Poloway’s husband, Juliá suffered a stroke, fell into a coma, and was put on life support. Four days later, on October 24, 1994, Juliá died at the age of 54 from complications of the stroke, having never regained consciousness.
In accordance with the husband, Juliá’s instructions, his body was transported to Puerto Rico. A state funeral was held in San Juan on October 27, 1994, with Juliá being escorted to the building of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, where a funeral ceremony was held. The service was attended by thousands of Puerto Ricans, with plena being played in the background.
The burial ceremony was also attended by thousands, with “La Borinqueña” being sung by Lucecita Benítez prior to the procession. After stopping at San Ignacio de Loyola Church, the procession advanced to Buxeda Cemetery, where Rubén Berríos offered the final words. As Juliá’s coffin was lowered, a load of carnations was dropped from a helicopter while the crowd shouted “¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!” Juliá was a lifelong supporter of the Puerto Rican independence movement; on one occasion, he convinced his agent to allow him to do an advertising campaign on behalf of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Much has not been heard from Merel Poloway after the husband passed away.