Rick Aviles

Last updated

Rick Aviles
Rick Aviles.jpg
Aviles as Willie Lopez in Ghost (1990)
Richard Anthony Aviles

October 14, 1952
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 17, 1995(1995-03-17) (aged 42)
OccupationActor, Stand-up comedian
Years active19801995

Rick Aviles (October 14, 1952 – March 17, 1995) was an American stand-up comedian and actor of Puerto Rican descent, best remembered for portraying the villainous Willie Lopez in the film Ghost .



Born in Manhattan, Aviles worked as a street performer and stand-up comedian on the Greenwich Village night-club circuit in New York in the 1970s and 1980s. [1] He was frequently seen in the NYC subways, doing his act for the riders. In 1981, he landed the role of Mad Dog in the film The Cannonball Run . [1] He went on to act in fourteen more film productions. In 1987, Aviles landed a small part as the maintenance man in the film The Secret of My Success , starring Michael J. Fox. That same year he became the host of It's Showtime at the Apollo , and continued as host until 1991. [2]

In 1990, Aviles landed his most memorable role: Willie Lopez in the film Ghost , a smash hit at the box office that received multiple Oscar nominations. He also appeared in Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train (film) (1989) as Will Robinson; Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part III (1990) as Mask #1; Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way (1993) as Quisqueya; in Waterworld (1995) as the Gatesman, and in Joe's Apartment (1996) as the voice of a cockroach. [2]

Among the television series in which he appeared are Mr. & Mrs. Dracula (1980), The Day Women Got Even (1980), The Carol Burnett Show (1991) and Stephen King's The Stand (1994). [1]


At the time of death, Aviles's obituary in Variety stated he died of heart failure on March 17, 1995. [1] Eleven years later, a 2006 article in Entertainment Weekly listed him as among the celebrities who had contracted HIV and died from complications of AIDS. [3]


Film [4]
1981 The Cannonball Run Mad Dog
1984Billions for BorisHector
1987 Street Smart Solo
The Secret of My Success Maintenance man
1988 Mondo New York Comic in park
Spike of Bensonhurst BandanaAlternative titles: The Mafia Kid or Throwback!
1989 Mystery Train Will RobinsonSegment: "Lost in Space"
Identity Crisis El Toro
1990 Ghost Willie Lopez
The Godfather Part III Mask #1
Green Card Vincent
1993 The Saint of Fort Washington Rosario
Carlito's Way Quisqueya
1995 Waterworld Atoll Gatesman
1996 Joe's Apartment CockroachVoice only
1980Mr. and Mrs. DraculaMarioUnknown episodes
The Day the Women Got EvenPancho Diaz
1989 No Place Like Home J.J.
1991 Monsters Mr. Vega1 episode
The Carol Burnett Show Skit charactersUnknown episodes
1993 Moon Over Miami Frankie the Rat1 episode
1994 The Stand Rat manMiniseries
Video Games
1997Waterworld: The Quest For Dry LandAtoll Gatesman

See also

Related Research Articles

Rafo Muñiz Puerto Rican actor and comedian

Rafael Muñiz García de la Noceda, better known as Rafo Muñiz is a Puerto Rican actor, comedian, director, and producer of television shows and concerts.

Nuyorican Puerto Rican diaspora located in or around New York City

Nuyorican is a portmanteau of the terms "New York" and "Puerto Rican" and refers to the members or culture of the Puerto Rican diaspora located in or around New York City, or of their descendants. This term is sometimes used for Puerto Ricans living in other areas in the Northeast outside New York State as well. The term is also used by Islander Puerto Ricans to differentiate those of Puerto Rican descent from the Puerto Rico-born.

Jimmy Smits American actor

Jimmy L. Smits is an American actor. He is best known for playing attorney Victor Sifuentes on the 1980s legal drama L.A. Law, NYPD Detective Bobby Simone on the 1990s police drama NYPD Blue, Matt Santos on the political drama The West Wing, and for appearing in Switch (1991), My Family (1995) and as ADA Miguel Prado in Dexter. He also appeared as Bail Organa in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and Rogue One. From 2012 to 2014, he joined the main cast of Sons of Anarchy as Nero Padilla. Smits also portrayed Elijah Strait in the NBC drama series Bluff City Law.

Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez, better known as Héctor Lavoe, was a Puerto Rican salsa singer. Lavoe is considered to be possibly the best and most important singer and interpreter in the history of salsa music because he helped to establish the popularity of this musical genre in the decades of 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. His personality, style and the qualities of his voice led him to a successful artistic career in the whole field of Latin music and salsa during the 1970s and 1980s. The cleanness and brightness of his voice, coupled with impeccable diction and the ability to sing long and fast phrases with total naturalness, made him one of the favorite singers of the Latin public.

Roselyn Sánchez Puerto Rican actress, producer, writer, singer-songwriter, model

Roselyn Milagros Sánchez Rodríguez is a Puerto Rican singer/songwriter, dancer, model, actress, producer and writer. On television, she is best known for her roles as Elena Delgado on the CBS police procedural Without a Trace (2005–09), and as Carmen Luna on the Lifetime comedy-drama Devious Maids (2013–16). In film, Sánchez has appeared in Rush Hour 2 (2001), Boat Trip (2002), The Game Plan (2007), and Act of Valor (2012).

Héctor Elizondo American actor

Héctor Elizondo is an American character actor. He is known for playing Phillip Watters in the television series Chicago Hope (1994–2000) and Ed Alzate in the television series Last Man Standing (2011–2021). His film roles include The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), American Gigolo (1980), Leviathan (1989), Pretty Woman (1990), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Runaway Bride (1999), The Princess Diaries (2001), and Valentine's Day (2010).

Raymond Arrieta Puerto Rican entertainer and philanthropist

Raymond Arrieta is a Puerto Rican actor, comedian, host and philanthropist. Starting his career as a comedian in various local shows, Arrieta gained popularity in the 1990s when he hosted a string of successful comedy shows where he showcased his various characters and personifications. Since 2007, Arrieta has been hosting the mid-day variety show Día a Día, along with Dagmar. Arrieta is also a radio show host and a theater actor.

Rick Gonzalez American actor

Rick Gonzalez is an American actor and musician. He is known for his roles as Timo Cruz in the motion picture Coach Carter, as Ben Gonzalez on the CW supernatural drama television series Reaper, and as Naps In Roll Bounce. From 2016-2020, he portrayed the superhero vigilante character Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog on the CW superhero drama series Arrow.

Carmen Belén Richardson was a Puerto Rican actress and comedian.

The Puerto Rican Day Parade takes place annually in the United States along Fifth Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City. The parade is held on the second Sunday in June, in honor of the 3.2 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico and all people of Puerto Rican birth or heritage residing on the U.S. mainland. The parade attracts many celebrities, both Puerto Rican and of Puerto Rican heritage, and many politicians from the Tri-State area.

Cinema of Puerto Rico Film industry of Puerto Rico

The history of the Cinema industry in Puerto Rico begins with the US invasion of the island in 1898. At that time, the American soldiers brought cameras to record what they saw. It was not until the 1912 that Puerto Ricans would begin to produce their own films.

<i>El Cantante</i> 2007 biographical film directed by Leon Ichaso

El Cantante is a 2006 biographical film which stars singers Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. The film is based on the life of the late salsa singer Héctor Lavoe, who is portrayed by Anthony. The film is told from the viewpoint of Puchi, Hector's wife, portrayed by Lopez. Initially debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2006, El Cantante was released on August 3, 2007.

Luis Raúl Puerto Rican actor and comedian

Luis Raúl Martínez Rodríguez, better known as Luis Raúl, was a Puerto Rican actor, comedian and television host. He was known for his stand-up comedy and his various characters. He also hosted Univision's talk and variety show Anda Pa'l Cará from 2001 to 2003 and Telemundo's game show Pa' Que Te Lo Goces in 2006. He died early in the morning of February 2, 2014 from kidney failure which in turn led to cardiac and respiratory arrest.

Abdiel Colberg is a Puerto Rican television producer and movie director. Among the movies which he directed and co-wrote is Los Díaz de Doris (1999), a drama starring Cordelia González, Braulio Castillo, Jr., Raul Davila and Alba Raquel Barros.

Jorge B. Merced is a New York-based Puerto Rican actor, theatre director, and gay activist. He is associate artistic director of Pregones Theater, a bilingual (Spanish/English) Puerto Rican/Latino theater company located near Hostos Community College in the Bronx, New York City. He is best known for his role as Loca la de la locura [The Queen of Madness] in Pregones's play El bolero fue mi ruina [The Bolero Was My Downfall].

Elizabeth Marrero is an American of performance artist, comedian, and drag king who is best known as Macha, the "papi chulo drag king", a character she created in 1999. Her solo and collaborative work is characterized by her open exploration of lesbian and Puerto Rican issues in a working-class or ghetto environment and by her links to stand-up comedy. She was born and lives in the Bronx, New York.


  1. 1 2 3 4 OBITUARIES: Rick Aviles. Variety . 358. April 17, 1995. p. 40.
  2. 1 2 New York Times; Movies and T.V.
  3. Tucker, Hannah (2006-06-09). "25 years of AIDS in Hollywood -- We remember the lost stars of movies, TV and art". Entertainment Weekly. p. 2. Retrieved 2006-07-29.
  4. http://www.inbaseline.com/person.aspx?person_id=140929