Rick Aviles

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.

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 active1980–1995


In the 1970s and 1980s, Aviles worked as a stand-up comedian on the Greenwich Village night-club circuit in New York. In 1981, he landed the role of Mad Dog in the film The Cannonball Run. 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.[1]

In 1990, Aviles landed his most memorable role: Willie Lopez, killer of Patrick Swayze's Sam Wheat, in the film Ghost. The film was a smash hit at the box office and received multiple Oscar nominations. Along with Swayze, Aviles shared the screen with Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg and Tony Goldwyn. 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.[1]

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).


Having contracted HIV through heroin use, Aviles died on March 17, 1995 in Los Angeles, California, from complications of AIDS.[2]


Year Film Role Notes
1981 The Cannonball Run Mad Dog
1984 Billions for Boris Hector
1987 Street Smart Solo
The Secret of My Success Maintenance man
1988 Mondo New York Comic in park
Spike of Bensonhurst Bandana Alternative titles: The Mafia Kid or Throwback!
1989 Mystery Train Will Robinson Segment: "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 Cockroach Voice only
Year Title Role Notes
1980 Mr. and Mrs. Dracula Mario Unknown episodes
The Day the Women Got Even Pancho Diaz
1989 No Place Like Home J.J.
1991 Monsters 1 episode
The Carol Burnett Show Skit characters Unknown episodes
1993 Moon Over Miami Frankie the Rat 1 episode
1994 The Stand Rat man Miniseries
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Waterworld: The Quest For Dry Land Atoll Gatesman

See also


  1. ^ a b New York Times; Movies and T.V.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ http://www.inbaseline.com/person.aspx?person_id=140929

External links