Julie Adams

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For the politician, see Julie Adams (politician).
For the author, see Julia Davis Adams.
Julie Adams
Andy Griffith Julie Adams Andy Griffith Show 1962.JPG
Adams with Andy Griffith, in 1962 card
Born Betty May Adams
(1926-10-17) October 17, 1926 (age 88)
Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.
Other names Julia Adams, Betty Adams
Occupation Actress
Years active 1949–2006
Spouse(s) Leonard Stern
(m. 1951–1953; divorced)
Ray Danton
(m. 1954–1981; divorced)
Partner(s) Ronald M. Cohen (died 1998)
Children Steve Danton (b. 1956)
Mitchell Danton (b. 1962)

Julie Adams (born Betty May Adams; October 17, 1926) is an American film and television actress, sometimes credited as Julia Adams or Betty Adams.

Life and career[edit]

Julie Adams was born as Betty May Adams on October 17, 1926, in Waterloo, Iowa, to alcoholic parents. Her family moved a great deal; the longest she lived in one town was eight years in Blytheville, Arkansas. Adams worked as a part-time secretary and began her film career in B-movie westerns. In 1946, at the age of 19, she was crowned "Miss Little Rock" and then moved to Hollywood, California, to pursue her acting career.[1]

She used her real name until 1949, when she began working for Universal Pictures. She then became Julia and eventually Julie Adams. Her first movie role was a minor part in Red, Hot and Blue (1949), followed by a leading role in the Lippert western The Dalton Gang (1949). Adams was featured as the bathing beauty Kay Lawrence in 1954's Creature from the Black Lagoon.[2]

In 1955, Adams co-starred with Rory Calhoun, subsequently of the CBS western television series, The Texan, in the film The Looters, the story of a plane crash in the Rocky Mountains. Part of the picture was filmed about Tarryall Creek at what is now Eleven Mile State Park in Park County in central Colorado. The advertising poster reads: "Five desperate men ... and a girl who didn't care ... trapped on a mountain of gale-lashed rock!"[3]

In 1962, Adams portrayed Mary Simpson, a county nurse and romantic interest of Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. She also made four guest appearances on Perry Mason; the most memorable was the 1963 episode, "The Case of the Deadly Verdict," when she played Janice Barton, Perry's only convicted client during the show's nine-year run on CBS. In 1965 she played the role of defendant Pat Kean in "The Case of the Fatal Fortune." She also appeared on "The Rifleman" as a dubious vixen and romantic interest of lead character Chuck Connors. Later in her career she played television guest-starring roles, including Maverick (1960 episode: "The White Widow" with Jack Kelly) and The Man and the Challenge. She also appeared in a 1975 episode of The Streets of San Francisco.[3]

She appeared in the musical comedy Tickle Me starring Elvis Presley in 1965. She thought highly of her co-star, noting: "Despite his status as a superstar singer and stage performer, Elvis took his acting very seriously. He was always prepared, and did a good job in the roles he was given. When he did his musical numbers in Tickle Me, sometimes walking from table to table in a nightclub set, he did them perfectly in one take."[4]

She was cast as real estate agent "Eve Simpson" in ten episodes of CBS's Murder, She Wrote.[2]

Adams played Paula Denning, the evil, conniving wife of Senator Mark Denning (Ed Nelson) on Capitol, a soap opera which ran on CBS from 1982 to 1987. While she claimed to have agoraphobia and to never leave her luxurious home in the fictional Washington, D.C. suburb of Jeffersonia, she was able to slip out unnoticed from time-to-time and even used her supposed affliction to cover a murder. After Paula recovered from a brain tumor, she continued to remain a trouble-maker, even writing a tell-all expose of the older generations of the soap's core families and even kidnapped ex-husband Mark in order to keep him from marrying Clarissa McCandless, the woman she had earlier shot in cold blood.[3]

Adams (along with her son, Mitchell) has authored a book on her life and career, The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections From The Black Lagoon, which was published in 2011 and is currently available via her website. The autobiography has received both public and critical acclaim, with noted movie critic Leonard Maltin praising it on his indiewire.com Blog as, "A charming memoir by longtime leading lady Julie Adams." On the Amazon.com website, the book is currently rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. A limited test print run (100 copies) - with a bonus interview DVD - of the audiobook version has now been completed. Future sales and distribution are pending through her son Mitch, who also serves as producer.


Julie Adams and Jack Kelly in Maverick

Julie Adams also continues to be very busy via making special guest appearances and meeting her fans: In August 2012, she was a guest of honor at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention (www.comicbookscifi.com) held at the Shrine Auditorium (she had attended the same convention back in May 2012). Julie also appeared at the CineCon Classic Film Festival on August 31, 2012 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Traveling east, Julie was a scheduled guest at The Hollywood Show: Chicago (Rosemont, Illinois), September 7–9, 2012. An additional book signing was held at Century Books in Pasadena, California, on September 20, 2012. On October 13, 2012, Julie was back in Illinois (Berwyn) for a book signing party.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected Creature from the Black Lagoon as one of 13 classic horror films to screen during October, 2012, in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures. The film was shown (in 3D format) on Tuesday, October 16 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills starting at 7:30pm.[5] After the screening, Julie appeared on stage for a Q&A session where she shared personal memories of her role in the film, as well as several other projects she had worked on over her long career.


In 1999, Julie received a Golden Boot Award for her work in Westerns. She was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in 2000. At CineCon in 2011, Julie was honored with a Film Career Achievement Award. In 2012, she won the Rondo Award for the Monster Kid Hall of Fame at the annual Wonderfest in Louisville, Kentucky.

Personal life[edit]

Julie Adams was married to screenwriter Leonard B. Stern from 1951 to 1953.[6] She then married actor/director Ray Danton from 1954 until 1981; they had two sons: Steven Danton, an assistant director, and Mitchell Danton, an editor.[7][8]


Television and film roles[edit]

Julie Adams, famously pursued in the 1954 horror classic, “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” portrayed an FDA chemist who helped break up a trucking industry amphetamine ring in “330 Independence S. W.,” a 1962 episode of NBC’s Dick Powell Show

As herself[edit]


External links[edit]