Julia Wainwright Capwell

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Julia Wainwright Capwell
Nancy Lee Grahn as Julia Wainwright (1989)
Santa Barbara character
Portrayed by Nancy Lee Grahn
First appearance Episode 198
May 6, 1985
Last appearance Episode 2137
January 15, 1993
Created by Bridget and Jerome Dobson
Occupation Lawyer
Assistant to the D.A.
District Attorney
Residence Santa Barbara, California

Julia Wainwright Capwell is a fictional character from the American soap opera Santa Barbara. She was portrayed by actress Nancy Lee Grahn from May 6, 1985 to then show's demise on January 15, 1993. Julia was a part of one of the show's main supercouples, Mason and Julia. The character is still identified as one of the most important characters in the show's history. Eighteen years following the character's final appearance, women continue to be a driving force in soap operas. The show offered "multitudes" of her and other female characters as men became secondary in a woman's world, according to a published article in The New York Times.[1]

Character history[edit]

Julia Wainwright arrived in Santa Barbara in May 1985 to help her sister, Augusta Lockridge, who had been blinded by an accident in a tunnel. Julia was a strong, independent lawyer and businesswoman. Julia soon fell in love with Jack Lee, a man who later turned out to be Jerry Cooper, his look-alike cousin. Julia was then disappointed in love again when she dated David Laurent, a man who was accused of murdering his wife, Madeline. Realizing that she had bad luck with men, Julia decided to stay single and concentrate on her career and on her goal of having a child.

Julia decided to ask fellow attorney Mason Capwell to help her make a baby under a contract. Although her sister Augusta's family despised the Capwells and Julia had little regard for Mason personally, she thought a child of his was likely to be healthy and intelligent. Additionally, she felt confident that there was no possibility of emotional involvement for the two of them and that Mason would never interfere with her desire to raise her child alone. Mason accepted the idea although he was at the time involved with a woman named Victoria (Tori) Lane. Mason and Julia set about the business of making a baby, but soon began to fall in love. Neither was willing to admit their feelings to the other due to their history of being hurt in love and their (mistaken) belief that the other viewed the relationship as a merely contractual one. Angry words led to Mason asking to be released from the contract. Shortly thereafter, on the very night that Julia's pregnancy was confirmed, Mason asked Tori to marry him. He was urged into this marriage to protect his sister Eden Capwell from learning that her lover Cruz Castillo was the father of Tori's unborn child. Mason and Julia (who was unaware for a while that Cruz was the father of Tori's baby), grew closer as Julia's pregnancy progressed and even more so when Julia gave birth to their daughter, Samantha. Mason and Julia eventually admitted they loved each other, and Mason left Victoria to be with Julia and Samantha.

Mason was accused of murdering a man named Mark McCormick whose bones were found in the boathouse on the Capwell estate. Mason left town to investigate Mark's murder and clear his name. Julia went looking for him, assisted by a priest, Father Michael Donnelly . Julia discovered that Mason was presumed dead after an explosion. In fact, Mason was suffering from amnesia and believed himself to be Sonny Sprocket, a Las Vegas entertainer. Gina DeMott, Mason's former lover and stepmother, convinced "Sonny" to get the Capwell fortune by pretending to be Mason. Julia, seeing "Sonny" and Gina together, and knowing of Mason's prior involvement with Gina, left him and found comfort in the arms of Father Donnelly. At "Sonny" and Gina's wedding, Mason was shot and he got his memory back. Mason was then able to explain to Julia what happened, and the couple reunited and were finally married.

Their reunion was challenged when the body of Mason's ex-lover Sasha Schmidt was found. Julia and Mason hid the body and eventually found out that she had been accidentally killed by Laura Asher, the wife of the district attorney. Mason was increasingly unable to deal with his problems without turning to alcohol, and Julia eventually decided to leave him for her own good and the good of their daughter.

Julia sought comfort with Dash Nichols and spent a night with him. The following day, Julia had second thoughts about sleeping with Dash, who then forced her to make love to him again. Julia accused him of rape, but Dash was not convicted. Julia sought justice by kidnapping Dash and forcing him to admit what he did to her.

Mason and Julia reunited and ended up getting married again. They moved into the Ballymoor mansion, where their daughter Samantha developed a serious illness which was eventually cured by Micah DeAngelis. When things went back to normal, Julia and Mason wanted to have another child together. They considered adopting the yet-unborn child of Gracie Lee Lively, a girl to whom they gave shelter, but before they could make a decision, Julia learned that she was pregnant.


  1. ^ Traister, Rebecca (23 September 2011). "The Soap Opera Is Dead! Long Live the Soap Opera!" – via NYTimes.com. 

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