Julie London

Active - 1944 - 1987  |   Born - Sep 26, 1926   |   Died - Oct 18, 2000   |   Genres - Drama, Action, Western

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Sultry blues vocalist Julie London began her film career long before she achieved fame as a recording artist. In 1945, 18-year-old London was selected to play a bargain-basement jungle princess, appearing opposite a gorilla in the PRC cheapie Nabonga. She was pretty bad, but no worse than the film itself. By the time she was cast as a sexy teenager in The Red House (1947), her acting had improved immensely, and by the time she played the female lead in the 1951 programmer The Fat Man, it looked as though she actually had a future in films. Still, London's greatest claim to fame was her long string of hit records ("Cry Me a River" et. al.) of the 1950s; many male admirers bought her albums simply to gaze upon her come-hither countenance on the dust jacket. Her status as every red-blooded American boy's wish dream was gently lampooned in Frank Tashlin's The Girl Can't Help It (1956), in which she appears as a spectral vision who transfixes a wistful Tom Ewell. Her best dramatic film appearances of this period include her leading-lady gigs in Voice in the Mirror (1958) and Man of the West (1958). From 1945 through 1955, Julie London was the wife of actor/producer Jack Webb; years after the divorce, London played Nurse Dixie McCall on the popular Jack Webb-produced TV series Emergency, in which she co-starred with her second husband, actor/jazz musician Bobby Troup.

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