Actor 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.


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. 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. 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.

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.

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).


At the time of death, Aviles’s obituary in Variety stated he died of heart failure on March 17, 1995. 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.


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 Mr. Vega 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

External Links

Actor Rick Aviles – Wikipedia

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