Julie Martin (Neighbours)
Julie Mullins as Julie Martin (1994)
|Portrayed by||Vikki Blanche (1985)
Julie Mullins (1992–1994)
|First appearance||18 March 1985|
|Last appearance||3 October 1994|
|Created by||Reg Watson|
|Introduced by||Reg Watson (1985)
Don Battye (1992)
Used car salesperson
Vikki Blanche as Julie Martin (1985)
Julie Martin (also Robinson) is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours. Originally played by Vikki Blanche, she made her first screen appearance during the show's first episode broadcast on 18 March 1985. The character departed in the same year. When she returned in 1992, Julie Mullins took over the role. Julie married Philip Martin and became his children's stepmother. Julie and Philip also had a daughter, Hannah. Julie's storylines have included struggling to befriend her stepson, her crumbling marriage and the discovery that she is a product of rape. Julie was portrayed as a busy body and gossip.
Julie is described as being unable to keep her nose out of other people's business. She has a "brusque and pompous manner" which annoyed those around her. In her later years Julie had become more obnoxious than she previously had been. She was branded unbearable in Neighbours' anniversary book The first ten years. As a mother Julie was embarrassing, she humiliated her children with her antics. Her persona meant she found it hard to hold a job because she was never suited to anything she tried. She firewalled herself with these traits, as she genuinely had a good heart but refused to show it. The anniversary book describes this as the reason she was disliked by almost everyone she encountered.
After two years of playing Julie, Mullins decided to leave Neighbours in 1994. The producers wanted the character to have an exciting storyline, so they decided to kill her off. Mullins said "It was time for me to move on and I'd never have escaped the image of grumpy old Julie unless she actually died." During a murder mystery weekend, which was attended by many Erinsborough residents, Julie's body was found at the bottom of a staircase. Mullins explained that originally Julie was going to commit suicide, but the writers changed the storyline a couple of days before filming without telling her. Mullins told Inside Soap's Victoria Ross that this meant in the lead up to Julie's death, she played her "like a desperate woman on the verge of suicide!" Philip was initially suspected of killing his wife after the other guests witnessed him having an argument with Julie before she died.
Julie, known for her nosy and gossipy tendencies, indirectly derails her friend Lorraine Kingham's (Antoinette Byron) engagement to her ex-boyfriend Des Clarke (Paul Keane) by talking Lorraine into calling off the wedding on the eve of the ceremony. While working at the Pacific bank one day, Julie is held up by Gordon Miller (Red Symons) who threatens to shoot her unless she complies with the robbery. She later has to describe Miller to the police when they begin the hunt for him. Following the bank ordeal, Julie clashes with Anna Rossi (Roslyn Gentle) over dating her father, Jim.
When Philip Martin becomes manager at the bank, Julie falls for him and they begin an affair but Julie's family are against the relationship as Philip is married with two children. Philip is prepared to leave his alcoholic wife, Loretta for Julie but when Philip's daughter Debbie attempts to commit suicide due to her parents constantly fighting, Julie steps back and tells Philip to return to his family. Julie later learns that Philip and Loretta have been involved in a car crash, which kills Loretta and leaves Philip paralysed. Julie then agrees to help Philip look after his children Debbie and Michael and they leave Erinsborough together as a family. Julie and Philip later marry and have a daughter, Hannah.
Seven years later, The Martins return to Erinsborough for Todd Landers' (Kristian Schmid) funeral. Julie resumes her gossipy ways and is less than pleased when Philip takes on the janitorial job at Erinsborough High, after having lost his job at the bank. However, things look better when Julie's brother Paul offers Philip the position of manager of the Lassiter's complex and they move across the street to Number 32. Michael returns home from boarding school, and begins a plot to kill Julie and begins playing mind games with her. Michael is arrested on one occasion and blames Julie, however, Hannah comes forward admitting she did so. A rift develops between Philip and Julie after she refuses to let Michael back into the house.
Jim dies of a heart attack and when Julie learns she will not inherit a share of the house like Helen or her siblings but Jim's share in Lou Carpenter's car yard, she is puzzled and hurt further when she learns Jim is not her real father but in fact that Jim's boss Roger Bannon is and she is the product of a rape. She meets her half-brother, Roger Jr (Guy Fearon) but does not disclose her identity and when he tries to rape her she flees. On her return, Julie pushes Philip away and he decides to move to Perth with Debbie but they eventually reconcile. She then finds herself at odds with the Lim family who are renting Paul's house and forbids Hannah from playing with their youngest child, Tommy (David Tong). She causes further outrage when she accuses the Lims of cooking and eating Hannah's dog, Holly. Julie decides to return to school to get her HSC but drops out after cheating on a test.
Michael receives parole and Julie goes out of her way to make him feel welcome by customising his bedroom but is hurt when Philip and Debbie accuse her of isolating Michael from the rest of the family. Philip then realises Julie's intentions are genuine and apologises to her. The Martins are somewhat stable for a while but once again Philip and Julie begin arguing. When the neighbours go away for a murder mystery weekend, Helen urges Julie to make up with Philip and she decides to join him at the hotel. However, on her arrival they begin arguing. The following morning, Cheryl Stark (Caroline Gillmer) discovers Julie's body on the lawn after falling from a tower the night before. Julie is rushed to hospital but later dies, leaving Philip widowed once again. At Julie's cremation, Philip is arrested and questioned and is the chief suspect but when Debbie has flashbacks to the night of Julie's death she reveals that Julie had been drinking heavily and fell to her death. Philip is then cleared of murder.
A writer for the BBC's Neighbours website said Julie's most notable moment was "Falling from a roof and dying during a murder mystery weekend." Ruth Deller of television website Lowculture gave Julie a 3.5 out of 5 for her contribution to Neighbours, during a feature called "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons". Deller said "Julie stepped into the busybody role vacated by Hilary and Mrs Mangel, whilst Philip became the proto-Steve Parker good guy. Julie made a lot of enemies, not least Michael, and she died by falling from a tower at a murder mystery event".
Andrew Mercado in his book Super Aussie soaps was critical of Julie upon her return with a husband stating: "She was no less annoying when she had been single" He also noted Julie's change in character as her last year in the serial progressed, stating she became unhinged. Joking about her death scenes he also stated "Given her incessant whining, it was almost a relief to viewers". Anthony Cowdy of British newspaper The Independent said "Julie Martin, is such an accomplished blamer that she would be beaten up daily if she were a schoolgirl."
During a feature on the show, Joanna Murray-Smith from The Age commented "Frankly, I think Julie's really pushing it with Philip and if she doesn't learn to give a little, and to really listen, she's going to wind up in a pokey flat with a budgie for the rest of her life." In 1994, Julie was seen dressing up in a school uniform to turn on Philip, who had become impotent. The scene was attacked by the Broadcasting Standards Council for being "too kinky" for younger viewers to watch. Lisa Anthony from BIG! magazine said that Julie accusing the Lim family of eating her dog Holly was "one of the most bizarre storylines ever". In 1995, Kate Langbroek of The Age said there had not been a "resident bitch" on the show following Julie's death.
- Monroe, Josephine (1996). Neighbours: the first 10 years. Michael Joseph LTD (Penguin Group). pp. 104, 105. ISBN 0-7181-4212-8.
- Ross, Victoria (July 1995). "Whodunnit?". Inside Soap (35): 18–19.
- "Character: Julie Martin". BBC. Archived from the original on 3 October 2003. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- Deller, Ruth (23 July 2009). "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons". Lowculture. Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Mercado, Andrew (2004). Super Aussie soaps: behind the scenes of Australia's best loved TV shows. Pluto Press Australia. pp. 220, 221. ISBN 1-86403-191-3. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- Cowdy, Anthony (6 June 1995). "Dear Neighbours". The Independent. Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
- Murray-Smith, Joanna (8 September 1993). "2000 new trips to dag zone please". The Age. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- Simon, Jane (13 October 1996). "101 Neighbours Facts To Oz-Tonish you!". The People. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- Anthony, Lisa (20 April – 3 May 1994). "Soap update". BIG!. EMAP (16): 9.
- Langbroek, Kate; Scott-Norman, Fiona (16 March 1995). "Soap opera – where sex meets deceit". The Age. Retrieved 27 March 2016.