London in 1958
September 26, 1926|
Santa Rosa, California, U.S.
|Died||October 18, 2000
Encino, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Cardiac arrest|
|Occupation||Singer, actress, pin-up model|
|Spouse(s)||Jack Webb (m. 1947; div. 1954)
Bobby Troup (m. 1959; d. 1999)
Julie London (born Julie Peck, Gayle Peck or Nancy Peck (sources differ); September 26, 1926 – October 18, 2000) was an American singer and actress, whose career spanned over forty years. She was noted for her smoky voice and languid vocal style. She released 32 albums of pop and jazz standards during the 1950s and 1960s, with her signature song being "Cry Me a River", which she introduced in 1955. She also appeared as a guest on several talk shows and as a panelist on game shows.
London's 35-year acting career began in movies in 1944, and included roles co-starring with Rock Hudson in The Fat Man (1951), with Gary Cooper in Man of the West (1958) and with Robert Mitchum in The Wonderful Country (1959). She achieved continuing success in the 1970s television show Emergency! (1972–79), in which she appeared with her husband, Bobby Troup. The show was produced by her ex-husband, Jack Webb. London played the role of Nurse Dixie McCall, her last acting role.
An only child, Julie London was born on September 26, 1926, in Santa Rosa, California, the daughter of Josephine (née Taylor; 1905 – 1976) and Jack Peck (1901 – 1977), who were a vaudeville song-and-dance team. At one time, her mother worked in a pharmacy. In 1929, when she was three years old, her family moved to San Bernardino, California, where she made her professional singing debut on her parents' radio program. In 1941, when she was 14, her family moved to Hollywood, California. Shortly after that, she began appearing in films. She graduated from the Hollywood Professional School in 1945.
London began singing under the name Gayle Peck in her teens. She was discovered by talent agent Sue Carol (wife of actor Alan Ladd), while working as an elevator operator. Her early film career did not include any singing parts.
London recorded 32 albums in a career that began in 1955 with a live performance at the 881 Club in Los Angeles. Billboard named her the most popular female vocalist for 1955, 1956, and 1957. She was the subject of a 1957 Life cover article in which she was quoted as saying, "It's only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate."
London's debut recordings were for the Bethlehem Records label. While searching for a record deal, she recorded four tracks which would later be included on the album Bethlehem's Girlfriends in 1955. Bobby Troup was one of the session musicians on the album. London recorded the standards "Don't Worry About Me", "Motherless Child", "A Foggy Day", and "You're Blasé".
London's most famous single, "Cry Me a River", was written by her high-school classmate Arthur Hamilton and produced by Troup. The recording became a million-seller after its release in December 1955, and also sold on reissue in April 1983 from the attention brought by a Mari Wilson cover. London performed the song in the film The Girl Can't Help It (1956), and her recording gained later attention in the films Passion of Mind (2000) and V for Vendetta (2006). Her cover of the Ohio Express song "Yummy Yummy Yummy" was featured on the HBO television series Six Feet Under and appears on its soundtrack album. London's "Must Be Catchin'" was featured in the 2011 premiere episode of the ABC series Pan Am. Her last recording was "My Funny Valentine" for the soundtrack of the Burt Reynolds film Sharky's Machine (1981).
Though primarily remembered as a singer, London also made more than 20 films and she was a pin-up girl prized by GIs during World War II. One of her strongest performances came in Man of the West (1958), starring Gary Cooper and directed by Anthony Mann, in which her character, the film's only woman, is abused and humiliated by an outlaw gang.
In the 1950s, London appeared in a television advertisement for Marlboro cigarettes, singing the "Marlboro Song". She and second husband Bobby Troup appeared as panelists on the game show Tattletales several times in the 1970s. In 1978, London appeared in TV advertisements for Rose Milk Skin Care Cream.
She performed on many television variety series, and also in dramatic roles, including guest appearances on Rawhide (1960), Laramie (1960), I Spy (1965) and The Big Valley (1968).
On May 28, 1964, she and Troup recorded a one-hour program for Japanese television in Japan. London sang 13 of her classic songs including "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Lonesome Road", and "Cry Me a River".
She remained close with ex-husband Jack Webb, and in 1972 he cast London and Troup in his TV series Emergency!, on which he was executive producer. London played Rampart General Hospital's Chief Emergency Room Nurse Dixie McCall, while Troup was cast as emergency room physician Dr. Joe Early. They also appeared in the same roles in an episode of the Webb-produced series Adam-12.
The on-screen friendship between London, Troup, Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe, who played paramedics Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto, carried over into real-life. London maintained her friendship with Mantooth and Tighe after the series ended.
In 1977, after a six-year run of 128 episodes, Emergency! was cancelled, despite good ratings. London, the only actress to appear in every episode of the series, was invited back for two of the four subsequent TV movie specials, before the show finally ended in 1979. Later, Webb offered London a position as executive producer of future TV projects, but she chose to retire from active TV work to spend more time with her family.
Marriages and family
In 1947, London married actor Jack Webb (of Dragnet fame). Their relationship was based partly on their common love of jazz. They had two daughters, Stacy and Lisa Webb. London and Webb divorced in 1954. Daughter Stacy Webb died in a traffic accident in 1996.
In 1959, London married jazz composer and musician Bobby Troup and they remained married until his death in 1999. They had one daughter, Kelly Troup, who died in 2002, and twin sons, Jody and Reese Troup. Jody Troup died in 2010. London was also the stepmother of Cynthia and Ronne Troup, Bobby's daughters from his marriage to Cynthia Hare.
Julie London was a private, reserved woman, who was also a chain smoker from the age of 16. She suffered a stroke in 1995 and was in poor health for five years. She died in the early morning hours of October 18, 2000, in Encino, California, age 74. London was buried next to Troup in the Courts of Remembrance Columbarium of Providence, at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (for recording) is at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
|1945||Diamond Horseshoe||Chorine||Uncredited|
|1945||On Stage Everybody||Vivian Carlton|
|1946||Night in Paradise||Palace Maiden||Uncredited|
|1947||The Red House||Tibby|
|1948||Tap Roots||Aven Dubney|
|1949||Task Force||Barbara McKinney|
|1950||Return of the Frontiersman||Janie Martin|
|1951||The Fat Man||Pat Boyd|
|1955||The Fighting Chance||Janet Wales|
|1956||Crime Against Joe||Frances 'Slacks' Bennett|
|1956||The Girl Can't Help It||Herself|
|1956||The Great Man||Carol Larson|
|1958||Saddle the Wind||Joan Blake|
|1958||A Question of Adultery||Mary Loring|
|1958||Voice in the Mirror||Ellen Burton|
|1958||Man of the West||Billie Ellis|
|1959||The Wonderful Country||Helen Colton|
|1959||The 3rd Voice||Corey Scott|
|1961||The George Raft Story||Sheila Patton|
|1968||The Helicopter Spies||Laurie Sebastian|
|1954||Armstrong Circle Theatre||Episode: "Hit a Blue Note" (5.15)|
|1956||The Rosemary Clooney Show||Episode 2|
|1957||The Ed Sullivan Show||(10.27)|
|1957||Zane Grey Theater||Julie||Episode: "A Time to Live" (1.25)|
|1957||Shower of Stars||Episode: "Jazz Time" (3.7)|
|1957||Playhouse 90||Angela||Episode: "Without Incident (1.36)|
|1957||Person to Person||Season 5 premiere|
|1957||The Big Record||Herself||Episode 3|
|1957–61||What's My Line?||Herself – Mystery Guest||3 episodes|
|1959||The David Niven Show||Maggie Malone||Episode: "Maggie Malone" (1.9)|
|1959||Adventures in Paradise||Dalisay Lynch||Episode: "Mission to Manilla" (1.7)|
|1960||The Red Skelton Show||Up and Coming Vocalist||Episode: "Clem the Disc Jockey" (9.13)|
|1960||Laramie||June Brown||Episode: "Queen of Diamonds" (2.1)|
|1960||Rawhide||Anne Danvers||Episode: "Incident at Rojo Canyon" (3.1)|
|1960||Michael Shayne||Anita||Episode: "Die Like a Dog" (1.3)|
|1960||Dan Raven||June Carey||Episode: "Tinge of Red" (1.12)|
|1961||Hong Kong||Penny Carroll||Episode: "Suitable for Framing" (1.14)|
|1961||The Barbara Stanwyck Show||Julie||Episode: "Night Visitors" (1.14)|
|1961||Checkmate||Libby Nolan||Episode: "Goodbye, Griff" (1.28)|
|1961||Follow the Sun||Jill Rainey||Episode: "Night Song" (1.11)|
|1962||The Jack Benny Program||Herself-Singer||Episode: "March 4, 1962"|
|1963||The Eleventh Hour||Joan Ashmond||Episode: "Like a Diamond in the Sky" (1.19)|
|1963||The Dick Powell Theatre||Linda Baxter||Episode: "Charlie's Duet" (2.25)|
|1965||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Barbara||Episode: "Crimson Witness" (3.12)|
|1965||The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson||Herself – Singer||Episode: "October 19, 1965"|
|1965||I Spy||Phyllis||Episode: "Three Hours on a Sunday Night" (1.12)|
|1967||The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||Laura Sebastian||Episode: "The Prince of Darkness Affair: Part II" (4.5)|
|1968||The Hollywood Squares||Herself||5 episodes|
|1968||The Big Valley||Julia Saxon||Episode: "They Called Her Delilah" (4.2)|
|1972||Adam-12||Dixie McCall, R.N.||Episode: "Lost and Found" (5.4)|
|1972–78||Emergency!||Dixie McCall, R.N.||126 episodes, (final television appearance)|
- "LIFE". Time Inc. 24 February 1947: 87–. ISSN 0024-3019.
- Hal Leonard Corp. (1 July 2007). The Great American Songbook - The Singers: Music and Lyrics for 100 Standards from the Golden Age of American Song. Hal Leonard. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-4584-8195-5.
- "Jazz". Retrieved 2015-01-25.
- Summerfield, Maurice J. (31 October 2008). Barney Kessel, a jazz legend. Ashley Mark Publishing. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-872639-69-7. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- "Julie London Profile". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- McKnight-Trontz, Jennifer (30 July 1999). Exotiquarium: Album Art from the Space Age. St. Martin's Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-312-20133-3. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- LIFE. Time Inc. 18 February 1957. p. 74. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Cason, Buzz (2004). Living the Rock 'n Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Cason. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-61780-116-7. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 75. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Loy, R. Philip. Westerns in a Changing America, 1955–2000. McFarland. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7864-8301-3. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- "TV Guide". Retrieved September 28, 2016.
- "The Julie Jones Television Show Videos". JulieLondon.org. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Randolph Mantooth Biography". Starpulse.com. 1945-09-19. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
- Staggs, Sam (4 February 2003). Close-up on Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond, and the Dark Hollywood Dream. St. Martin's Press. p. 289. ISBN 978-1-4668-3046-2. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- "Julie London". Nndb.com. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- "Julie London Biography". Musicianguide.com. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- "Actress-Singer Julie London Dies". ABC News.
- McKinstry, Leo. "Julie London is the voice of Marks and Spencer's Christmas Advert". Daily Express. Northern & Shell. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
- Martin, Douglas (19 October 2000). "Julie London, Sultry Singer and Actress of 50's, Dies at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "A small voice to make a big stir: Julie London gets back to movies". Life. 18 February 1957. pp. 74–78.
- "Julie London". The Times. 19 October 2000. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- For the original niche, see Julie London at Find a Grave. See: Julie London at Find a Grave.