Friday, 3 June 2016

Julia Meade R.I.P.

Julia Meade, who served as a pitchwoman on The Ed Sullivan Show and acted on stage and film, died on May 16 2016 at the age of 90.

Julia Meade was born on December 17 1925 in Boston, Massachusetts. When she was ten years old her family moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey. She later graduated from the Yale School of Drama.

In 1947 Miss Meade made her professional stage debut in the traditional production of The Lost Colony in North Carolina. In 1948 she moved to New York City where she was a model for the Harry Conover agency. Her first work in television came the same year. She worked at the Du Mont TV studio in Wanamaker's department store in New York City. In 1952 she appeared in an episode of Lux Video Theatre. In 1953 she appeared in an episode of Goodyear Playhouse. It was that year that she was hired as a pitchwoman on Toast of the Town, the variety show that would eventually be renamed The Ed Sullivan Show for its host. She appeared in live ads for Lincoln automobiles on the show. She also promoted products ranging from Hudnut hair products to Kodak cameras.  Before the end of the Fifties Julia Meade was a household name. She continued to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show until 1967.

In 1954 she appeared on Broadway in The Tender Trap. During the Fifties she also appeared on Broadway in Double in Hearts and Roman Candle. On television she appeared in episodes of Armstrong Circle Theatre and Playhouse 90. She played Marie in the movie Pillow Talk (1959).

During the Sixties she continued to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. She also appeared on the game show The Match Game. She guest starred on The Christophers and appeared in the movies Tammy Tell Me True (1961) and Zotz! (1962). She appeared on Broadway in Mary, Mary and The Front Page.

In the Seventies she guest starred on CBS Daytime 90 and Ryan's Hope. In the Eighties she appeared in the TV movie My First Love and the film Presumed Innocent (1990).  Well into the Nineties she continued to appear in various stage productions.

For a time Julia Meade was a household name. Through her weekly appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show she became a very familiar face for many Americans. TV Guide once called her Ed Sullivan's "favourite salesgirl", and one has to suspect she was a favourite with many Americans as well. Of course, Julia Meade was much more than a commercial spokeswoman. She was an actress of some talent. She won the Sarah Siddons Award for her performance of Mary, Mary when it was in Chicago. Miss Meade was quite enjoyable in the few movies she made, including Pillow Talk, and she was quite good as the female lead in Zotz!. Today Julia Meade may not be particularly well known, but for a time she was a household name and she was always a very talented woman.

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