Like many actresses who've been typecast as airheads, Julie Hagerty is infinitely more intelligent than most of the characters she's played. After six years' worth of training in her hometown of Cincinnati and at Julliar!d, Hagerty pursued a modelling career in New York, continuing to take acting lessons under the tutelage of William Hickey. She then spent a few seasons playing a variety of roles at the Production Company, a Greenwich Village theatre troupe which she co-founded with her brother Michael. In 1980, she appeared in her first film, playing ditzy stewardess Elaine Dickinson in the disaster-flick lampoon Airplane!. The following year, she delivered a marvelous performance as the limited-intellect mistress of professorial Jose Ferrer in Woody Allen's A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982). A couple of inconsequential projects followed (including the inevitable Airplane! sequel) before Hagerty once more appeared in a worthwhile role in a worthwhile film: in 1985's Lost in America, Hagerty and Albert Brooks (who also directed) sparkled as a pair of starry-eyed yuppies who try to go the "Easy Rider" route. She was cast against type (and also appeared sans screen credit) as the mistress of Claus von Buhlow in Reversal of Fortune (1990). There have been several career ups and downs since: the most recent "up", if only on an artistic level, was the 1995 film The Wife. On television, Julie Hagerty starred as Tracy Dillon in the short-duration series Princesses (1991). Hagerty continued to remain active in film and television throughout the 2000s, though she wouldn't recapture her Airplane! success. Among her credits include Freddy Got Fingered, comedian Tom Green's notorious flop from 2001, and the comedies Just Friends (2005), Adam & Steve (2005), and She's the Man (2006). In 2009 she played a small supporting role in Confessions of a Shopaholic, a romantic comedy based on Sophie Kinsella's novel of the same name.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- At age 15, she signed with the Eileen Ford Modeling Agency.
- Performed with the Production Company, an off-Broadway theater group co-founded by her brother, Michael Hagerty.
- Made Broadway debut in the 1980 revival of House of Blue Leaves.
- First film role was a small part in Bob Fosse's All that Jazz, but the part was cut in final editing; she and Fosse were in a relationship at the time.
- Beat out 75 actresses to win the lead role in 1980's Airplane!.