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Julie Adams Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (21)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameBetty May Adams
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Betty May Adams was the daughter of a travelling Iowa cotton buyer with a penchant for alcohol. Growing up in Arkansas, Betty expressed an early interest in acting and made her performing debut in a third grade play of "Hansel and Gretel". Beautiful, talented and determined, the freshly minted 'Miss Little Rock' left home at the age of 19 to live with her aunt and uncle in California. For three days a week she made ends meet working as a secretary. The remainder of her time was spent taking speech and drama lessons (in due course losing her Southern twang) and making the rounds of the various Hollywood casting departments. Her first screen role was (appropriately) as a starlet in Paramount's Red, Hot and Blue (1949). This was followed by an inauspicious leading role in the B-grade Western The Dalton Gang (1949). Over a period of five weeks she appeared in six further quota quickies of the sagebrush variety for Poverty Row outfit Lippert Productions. Since Lippert owned no actual studio facilities, most of the filming took place at the Ray Corrigan ranch in Chatsworth, California. In the summer of 1950, Betty assisted in a screen test for Detroit Lions football star Leon Hart at Universal-International. While Hart's movie career ended up stillborn, Betty clicked with producers who opted to change her first name to 'Julia'. The initial outing for her new studio was entitled Bright Victory (1951), with the budding actress a little underemployed as 'the other girl' in a love triangle involving a blind war veteran (played by Arthur Kennedy). Her career was significantly better served in her next assignment as co-star opposite James Stewart in Anthony Mann's seminal Technicolor western Bend of the River (1952) (Kennedy this time cast as the arch villain). Adams later recalled her part in this film as "a great learning experience" and one of her "fondest Hollywood memories". It also led to a life long friendship with Jimmy Stewart.

Signed to a seven-year contract (and having her legs insured by Universal to the tune of $125,000 by Lloyds of London), Julia seemed destined to remain perpetually typecast as a western heroine. A comely actress with soft, classical features, she often gave affecting performances in what amounted to little more than bread-and-butter pictures. At the very least, she got to play romantic leads opposite some of Universal's top box-office earners: Rock Hudson (in Horizons West (1952) and The Lawless Breed (1952)), Tyrone Power(The Mississippi Gambler (1953)) and Glenn Ford (The Man from the Alamo (1953)). Having played a succession of 'nice girls', Julia took a turn as leader of an outlaw gang in Wings of the Hawk (1953), set against the background of the Mexican Revolution (Van Heflin was first-billed as a mining engineer, who, having his gold mine taken over by Federales, joins Julia's band of 'insurrectos'). 'Miss Melon Patch' of 1953 was about to experience another important career change, being famously cast as the imperilled heroine Kay Lawrence in Jack Arnolds cultish monster flic Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), a role Adams initially considered turning down. Shot in 3-D on a shoestring budget, the picture was light on script but strong on atmosphere and proved once again that style can succeed over content. The not inconsiderable physical charms of Miss Adams often dominated the scenery and gave the 'Gill Man' a run for his money. Audiences approved and 'Creature' spawned two further sequels, alas without Julia and with diminishing returns.

In 1955, having generated strong box office heat, Julia changed her moniker (with studio approval) to the less gentle-sounding Julie. Accordingly, she was now offered more varied material ranging from tough melodramas, to comedies and lightweight romances. Adams further established her credentials with roles which included a soft porn model who survives a plane crash in the Colorado Rockies in The Looters (1955); as a cop's wife in Six Bridges to Cross (1955) (a crime drama based on Boston's Great Brinks Robbery); a sympathetic school's doctor in the family-oriented comedy The Private War of Major Benson (1955) and as the wife of an assistant D.A. fighting gangland on the New York waterfront in Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1957). After 1957, her contract with Universal having expired, Adams successfully transitioned into television where she remained a firm favourite in westerns and crime dramas, guest-starring in just about every classic prime-time series covering both genres (Perry Mason (1957) being her personal favourite). Latterly, she had a popular recurring role as real estate lady Eve Simpson in Murder, She Wrote (1984). Adams was still in demand for occasional screen appearances well into her 90s.

She was married twice: first, to writer-producer Leonard Stern, and, secondly, to the actor Ray Danton. Julie Adams passed away in Los Angeles on February 3 2019 at the age of 92. Her autobiography (co-written with her son Mitchell Danton), entitled "The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections from the Black Lagoon" appeared in 2011.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (2)

Ray Danton (20 February 1955 - 13 April 1978) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Leonard Stern (2 January 1951 - 13 October 1953) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (4)

Natural brunette hair
Deep sultry voice
Southern accent
Voluptuous figure

Trivia (21)

Has two sons: Steve Danton and Mitchell Danton, and four grandchildren, including Zane Danton.
In Italy, all her films were dubbed by either Dhia Cristiani, Renata Marini or Lydia Simoneschi.
Universal Pictures publicity in the 1950s claimed that her legs won an award as "the most perfectly symmetrical in the world" and that they were insured for $125,000.
Interviewed in Tom Weaver's book, "They Fought in the Creature Features" (McFarland & Co., 1995).
At age 19, she was crowned "Miss Little Rock" and then moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her acting career.
At age 22, she legally changed her name from Betty May to Julie, when she was under contract with Universal Studios.
Began her career as a contract player for Universal Studios in 1949, where she first met Tony Curtis, Marsha Hunt and Piper Laurie.
Moved to Blytheville, Arkansas, with her family, when she was a young girl. She later attended and graduated from Little Rock Central High School (class of 1944).
Has appeared with Rock Hudson in five films: Bright Victory (1951), Bend of the River (1952), Horizons West (1952), The Lawless Breed (1952) and One Desire (1955).
Met her future husband Ray Danton on the set of The Looters (1955).
Was honored with a Film Career Achievement Award at CineCon. [2011]
Worked as a part-time secretary before entering the motion picture industry.
Had to perform most of her own stunts in Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).
Shared a joint birthday with Beverly Garland. They both guest-starred on the same episode of Mannix (1967).
Won the Rondo Award for the Monster Kid Hall of Fame at the annual Wonderfest in Louisville, Kentucky. [2012]
After her last role Carnage (2011), she retired from acting at age 84.
Acting mentor and friends with Catherine Hickland.
She was widely known as a social butterfly.
Her hobbies included: horseback riding, swimming, reading, watching classic movies and spending time with family.
Met [Tony Curtis], [Marsha Hunt] and [Piper Laurie], when the four were all under contract at Universal in 1949.
On February 9, 2019, she was honored with a Sketch of the Day caricature on the Greg Joens website.

Personal Quotes (3)

No matter what you do, you can act your heart out, but people will always say, "Oh, Julie Adams - Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).".
[on Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)] Oh, it was a real shock when we saw the Creature. And you can see from the pictures in the book that I look a little awestruck, kind of taken aback when I saw it at first. I thought it was quite wonderful, extraordinary, and a little scary which of course is exactly what it was supposed to be.
[on Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)] I think the best thing about the picture is that we do feel for the Creature. We feel for him and his predicament and where he is and so on. I think that's a very positive thing really. I like that we feel sympathy for the Creature.

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