Monday, February 4, 2019

The Late Great Julie Adams

Julie Adams, the beautiful star of the classic Creature from the Black Lagoon who made numerous guest appearances on television, died yesterday at the age of 92.

Julie Adams was born Betty Adams in Waterloo, Iowa on October 17 1926. Her family moved often. The place in which they lived the longest was Blytheville, Arkansas. She attended Little Rock Junior College, but dropped out after she won the Miss Little Rock pageant. She moved to Hollywood with the goal of becoming an actress.

Julie Adams made her film debut in an uncredited role in Red, Hot and Blue in 1949. She appeared under her given name in the movies The Dalton Gang (1949), Hostile Country (1950), Marshal of Heldorado (1950), Crooked River (1950), Colorado Ranger (1950), West of the Brazos (1950), and Fast on the Draw (1950). When she signed to Universal, the studio renamed her "Julia Adams". It was under that name that she appeared in such films as Bright Victory (1951), Hollywood Story (1951), Bend of the River (1952), The Treasure of Lost Canyon (1952), The Lawless Breed (1953), The Man from the Alamo (1953), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), and Francis Joins the WACS (1954). Miss Adams never liked the name "Julia" and so she convinced Universal to change her name to "Julie". The first film in which she was billed as "Julie Adams" was Six Bridges to Cross (1955). For the remainder of the Fifties she appeared in such movies as The Private War of Major Benson (1955), Four Girls in Town (1957), Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1957), The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959), and Raymie (1960).

Under her given name of Betty Adams, Miss Adams made her television debut in an episode of the series Your Show Time. In the mid to late Fifties she guest starred on such shows as The Colgate Comedy Hour, Studio One, Lux Video Theatre, Climax!, Playhouse 90, Yancy Derringer, Zane Grey Theatre, The Loretta Young Show, One Step Beyond, Steve Canyon, Cheyenne Maverick, Goodyear Theatre, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Rifleman.

In the Sixties Julie Adams appeared in the films The Underwater City (1962) and Tickle Me (1965). In the Sixties she guest starred on such shows as Bonanza, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Hawaiian Eye, The Andy Griffith Show, Dr. Kildare, 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason, Amos Burke Secret Agent, The Virginian, The Big Valley, Ironside, The F.B.I., and Dan August.

In the Seventies she played opposite James Stewart in the short-lived sitcom The Jimmy Stewart Show. She guest starred on such shows as Night Gallery, The Doris Day Show, The Mod Squad, Search, Mannix, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Streets of San Francisco, Marcus Welby M.D., Ellery Queen, Cannon, Medical Centre, McMillan & Wife, Police Woman, The Incredible Hulk, and Trapper John M.D. She appeared in the films The Last Movie (1971), McQ (1974), The Wild McCullochs (1975), Psychic Killer (1975), The Killer Inside Me (1976), Goodbye, Franklin High (1978), and The Fifth Floor (1978).

In the Eighties Julie Adams had a recurring role in the TV series Code Red and a recurring role on Murder, She Wrote. She guest starred on such shows as Vega$, Cagney & Lacey, Quincy M.E., Too Close for Comfort, and Capitol. She appeared in the films Champions (1984), Black Roses (1988), and Catchfire (1990).

In the Nineties Miss Adams continued to appear on Murder, She Wrote. She guest starred on the TV shows Beverly Hills 90120, Diagnosis Murder, Melrose Place, Sliders, and Family Law. In the Naughts she appeared in the film World Trade Centre (2006). She guest starred on the shows Close to Home, Lost, Cold Case, and CSI: NY. Her last work was providing the voice of a secretary in the movie Carnage (2011).

Although Julie Adams is best known for Creature from the Black Lagoon and many B-Westerns, as well as her work in television, in many ways she was the ideal leading lady. She was beautiful, shapely, and possessed a mellifluous voice. Indeed, generations of men have had crushes on her ever since the release of Creature from the Black Lagoon. And while she was primarily cast in the role of love interests in various films, she was capable of other roles. In the movie The Private War of Major Benson she played a medical doctor. Miss Adams played the owner of a ranch in the Elvis Presley vehicle Tickle Me. Julie Adams was capable of playing so much more than girlfriends and wives, and she could do so convincingly.

In her later years Julie Adams frequently attended conventions for horror fans and Western fans. While I never had the honour of meeting Miss Adams, I know plenty of people who did. From all reports Julie Adams was exactly what one would expect her to be. She was a very nice, sweet, and gracious woman who treated her fans with both respect and affection. Quite simply, Julie Adams was a true lady. It should be little wonder that many classic movie fans, particularly fans of genre movies, are mourning her passing.

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