Adams with Andy Griffith in 1962
|Born||Betty May Adams
October 17, 1926
Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.
|Other names||Julia Adams
|Spouse(s)||Leonard Stern (m. 1951; div. 1953)
Ray Danton (m. 1954; div. 1981)
|Children||Steve Danton (b. 1956)
Mitchell Danton (b. 1962)
Julie Adams (born Betty May Adams; October 17, 1926) is an American actress, primarily in television. She is best known for her roles as Paula Denning on Capitol and as Eve Simpson on Murder, She Wrote.
Julie Adams was born as Betty May Adams on October 17, 1926 in Waterloo, Iowa. 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.
She used her real name until 1949, when she began working for Universal Pictures, the same studio where she met unknown stars such as Piper Laurie and Tony Curtis. She then became "Julia" and eventually "Julie". In 1954, she explained the latter change, "The studio picked Julia, but I never have felt comfortable with it. I just like the name Julie better, and the studio has given me permission to make the change."
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.
Adams co-starred in 1950s films opposite some of Hollywood's top leading men, including with James Stewart in 1952's Bend of the River, with Rock Hudson in The Lawless Breed (1953), with Tyrone Power in The Mississippi Gambler (1953), with Glenn Ford in The Man from the Alamo (1953), with Charlton Heston in The Private War of Major Benson (1955), with Dan Duryea in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957) and with Joel McCrea in The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959).
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!"
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."
On television 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." Adams appeared on The Rifleman as a dubious vixen and romantic interest of lead character Chuck Connors. She guest-starred in five episodes of 77 Sunset Strip, on Alfred Hitchcock Presents three times, and on Maverick twice.
More guest-star roles in popular TV series followed, including McMillan & Wife, Police Woman, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Quincy, M.E., and Cagney & Lacey. Adams co-starred with James Stewart in The Jimmy Stewart Show on NBC in 1971-1972. Stewart played a professor, and Adams played his wife. She was cast in the recurring role of real estate agent Eve Simpson for ten episodes of CBS's Murder, She Wrote.
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 audio book version has now been completed. Future sales and distribution are pending through her son Mitch, who also serves as producer.
Adams continues to be 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 held at the Shrine Auditorium. (She attended the same convention in May 2012.) She also appeared at the CineCon Classic Film Festival on August 31, 2012 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. She was a scheduled guest at The Hollywood Show in Chicago from September 7–9, 2012. An additional book signing was held at Century Books in Pasadena, California, on September 20, 2012. On October 13, 2012, she was back in Berwyn, Illinois 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 October 16 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California. After the screening, Adams appeared on stage for a Q&A session where she shared personal memories of her role in the film, as well as several other career projects on which she had worked.
Adams was married to screenwriter Leonard B. Stern from 1950 or 1951 to 1953. She was then married to actor-director Ray Danton from 1954 or 1955 until their divorce in 1981. They had two sons: Steven Danton, an assistant director, and Mitchell Danton, an editor.
In 1999, Adams 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.
Television and film
- Your Show Time (1949) (as Betty Adams)
- Colorado Ranger (1950) (as Betty Adams)
- Bright Victory (1951)
- Hollywood Story (1951)
- Horizons West (1952) (as Betty Adams) ... Lorna Hardin
- Bend of the River (1952) (as Julia Adams) ... Laura
- The Lawless Breed (1953) (as Julia Adams) ... Rosie
- The Mississippi Gambler (1953) (as Julia Adams) ... Ann Conant
- The Man from the Alamo (1953) (as Julia Adams) ... Beth Anders
- Wings of the Hawk (1953) ... Raquel Noriega
- Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) (credited as Julia Adams) ... Kay Lawrence
- The Private War of Major Benson (1956) ... Dr. Kay Lambert
- Studio One (1956) ... Anne
- Away All Boats (1956) ... Nadine MacDougall
- Lux Video Theatre (1955, 1957)
- Climax! (1957) ... Coleen
- Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957) ... Daisy Pauly
- Playhouse 90 (1958) ... Janice Ohringer
- Yancy Derringer (1958–1959) ... Amanda Eaton
- Zane Grey Theatre (1958) ... Nora Jepson (1958) ... Julie Brand
- Goodyear Theatre (1958) ... Marion Ewell
- Letter to Loretta (1958) ... Milly (1958) (as Julia Adams) ... Paula McGill
- The Man and the Challenge (1959) ... Linda Webb
- Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond (1959) ... Helen Archer
- The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959) ... Pauline Howard
- Frontier Justice (1959) ... Julie Brand
- The Alaskans (1959) ... Clara
- Cheyenne (1960) (2 episodes) ... Irene Travers
- Maverick (1960) ... Wilma White (1959) ... Belle Morgan
- Alcoa Theatre (1960) ... Betty Fordham
- The Rifleman (1960) ... Nora Sanford
- Tate (1960) ... Mary Hardin
- Markham (1960)
- Wrangler (1960) ... Eve Browning
- Michael Shayne (1960) ... Bea
- Bonanza (1961) "The Courtship" ... Helen Layton
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1961) ... Phyllis Kendall (1959) ... Peg Valence (1958) ... Carol Longsworth
- Hawaiian Eye (1961) ... Gloria Matthews (1960) ... Sarah Crane
- Outlaws (1961) ... Juill Ramsur
- Surfside 6 (1961) ... Julie Owens (1961) ... Merilee Williams
- The Underwater City (1962) ... Monica Powers
- The Andy Griffith Show (1962) ... Mary Simpson
- The Dick Powell Show (1962) ... Robin
- Dr. Kildare (1962) ... Ginny Nelson
- Checkmate (1962) ... Jean Damion (1960) ... Janet Evans
- The Gallant Men (1963) ... Capt. Meg Thorpe
- Arrest and Trial (1963) ... Eleanor
- 77 Sunset Strip (1964) ... Anne Kenzie (1961) ... Norma Kellogg (1960) ... Miriam Galbraith (1959) ... Marie La Shelle (1959) Margo Wendice
- Kraft Suspense Theatre (1965) ... Joanne Clay (1964) ... Ellen Yarnell
- Perry Mason (1965) ... Patricia L. Kean (1964) ... Janice Blake (1963) ... Janice Barton (1963) ... Valerie Comstock
- Twelve O'Clock High (1965) ... Lt. Betty Russo
- Burke's Law (1965) ... Carla Cabrial
- Tickle Me (1965) ... Vera Radford
- The Long, Hot Summer (1965) ... Leona Mills
- The Virginian (1966) ... Marian Clay
- The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1967)
- The Big Valley (1966, 1967) ... Janet Masters/Edna Wesley
- Ironside (1968) ... Norma Howard
- The Outsider (1968) ... Laura
- General Hospital (1968) ... Denise Wilton
- My Friend Tony (1969)
- The F.B.I. (1969) ... Denise Kriton
- Dan August (1970) ... Patricia Fairley
- The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1970–1971) (Season 2) ... Lynn Craig
- The Young Lawyers (1971) ... Alice Graham)
- The Jimmy Stewart Show (1971–1972) ... Martha Howard
- The Trackers (1971) ... Dora Paxton
- Night Gallery (1972) ... Gay Melcor
- The Doris Day Show (1972), (1969)
- Go Ask Alice (1973) ... Dorothy
- The Mod Squad (1973), (1968) ... Samantha Semple
- Search (1973) ... Jeanette Lewis
- Mannix (1973) ... Edie Reynolds (1967)
- Lucas Tanner (1974) ... Mrs. Walker
- Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1975) ... Mrs. Avery Walker
- Caribe (1975) ... Mrs. Bladell
- The Streets of San Francisco (1975) ... Judith
- Marcus Welby, M.D. (1975) ... Lee Morgan (1969) ... Claire
- Psychic Killer (1975) ... Dr. Laura Scott
- Ellery Queen (1975) ... Jennifer Packard
- Cannon (1975) ... Sylvia Killian (1972) ... Mrs. Lucas
- Medical Center (1976) ... Ellie Wilke
- The Killer Inside Me (1976) ... Mother
- Six Characters in Search of an Author (1976) ... The Mother
- McMillan & Wife (1977) ... Dorothy Wininger
- This Is the Life (1977)
- Police Woman (1978) ... Eleanor Simpson
- The Runaways (1978) ... Mother
- The Incredible Hulk (1978) ... Ellen
- Trapper John, M.D. (1980) ... Lorrie Malcolm
- Vega$ (1981) ... Margaret Sorenson
- Code Red (1981–1982) ... Ann Rorchek
- Cagney & Lacey (1982) ... Helen Granger
- Quincy, M.E. (1982) ... Dr. Chris Winston (1980) ... Sharon Ross (1977) ... Mrs. Daniels
- Capitol (1982–1987) ... Paula Denning
- Too Close for Comfort (1981-1984) (2 episodes) ... Sylvia Walker
- Murder, She Wrote (1987–1993) (10 episodes) ... Eve Simpson
- Black Roses (1988) ...Mrs. Miller
- Beverly Hills, 90210 (1993) (2 episodes) ... Grandma Beevis
- Diagnosis: Murder (1997) ... Edie Fallon
- Melrose Place (1999) ... Mrs. Damarr
- Sliders (1999) ... Old Maggie Beckett
- Family Law (2000) ... Bonnie
- Cold Case (2006) ... Dottie Mills
- Lost (2006) ... Amelia, "A Tale of Two Cities"
- CSI New York (2010)
- "'Julie Adams at 85'". Great Entertainers Archives.com. 2012-04-09. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
- Carroll, Harrison (November 18, 1954). "Behind the Scenes in Hollywood". The Lethbridge Herald. p. 3. Retrieved September 9, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Exclusive Interview: Julie Adams on THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON at Mile High Horror!
- Laura King Van Dusen, "Movie Making", Historic Tales from Park County: Parked in the Past (Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2013); ISBN 978-1-62619-161-7, pp. 182-183.
- Armstrong, Richard. "Julie Adams Chats with the Café about James Stewart, the Gill Man, Elvis, and Her Autobiography". Classic Film & TV Cafe.
- Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (1979). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows: 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-25525-9. P. 307.
- "Wins Divorce". The Bee. October 14, 1953. p. 16. Retrieved September 9, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.)
- "Actress Expects November Baby". The Daily Interlake. May 6, 1956. p. 17. Retrieved September 11, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Official Julie Adams website, julieadams.biz; accessed July 5, 2016.
- Profile, TCM.com; accessed July 5, 2016.
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