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Julie Adams: The Woman Who Stole Gill-Man’s Heart

Julie Adams

Let’s continue our trip back to the Black Lagoon with Julie Adams!

When something is classic, it lives on forever and never loses its repeat value.  Universal Monsters Universe prides itself on the classics and as we approach our one-year anniversary, we are re-visiting our earliest days by bringing you articles on classic monster actors and actresses.  Let us go back to the Black Lagoon with Julie Adams.

*This article first appeared on UMU on May 25, 2016*

Julie Adams is the epitome of the classic small-town girl goes to Hollywood story and had a stellar career.  She made a name for herself in movies, television and even wrote a book.  Join Universal Monsters Universe as we learn more about the beautiful girl in the white bathing suit who captured the affections of Gill-Man.

Julie Adams

Julie Adams was born Betty May Adams on October 17, 1926 in Waterloo, Iowa.  Her family moved a lot but she did live in Blytheville, Arkansas for eight years.  She worked part-time as a secretary and acted in B-movie Westerns.  In 1946, at 19 years old, she was crowned “Miss Little Rock” and later moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.  Betty May would use her real name until 1949, when she started working with Universal Studios where she would meet future movie stars Piper Laurie and Tony Curtis.

Adams’s first role was a small part in the 1949 movie Red, Hot and Blue.  In that same year, she would land her first lead role in the western The Dalton Gang.  At the turn of the 1950s, Julie Adams became a star alongside leading actors of the time such as James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Tyrone Power and Glenn Ford.  In 1954, she landed the role of Kay Lawrence in Universal’s The Creature From The Black Lagoon opposite Richard Carlson, Ben Chapman and Ricou Browning.  Following her role in The Creature, Adams would once again be leading lady opposite esteemed actors Charlton Heston, Dan Duryea, Joel McCrea and Rory Calhoun of the CBS series, The Texan.  She even starred in the 1965 Elvis Presley film, Tickle Me.  She said of the rock-n-roll star, “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.” 

Julie Adams

Julie Adams in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show

Julie Adams would also foray into television.  She made many appearances on such classic shows as The Andy Griffith Show, Perry Mason where she played Janice Barton, Mason’s only convicted client in the history of the show, The Rifleman where she played the love interest of Chuck Connor and even modern shows like Lost and CSI:  New York as recently as 2010.  Adams even wrote a book in 2011 with her son Mitchell titled, The Lucky Southern Star:  Reflections From The Black Lagoon which is available on her website.  She still makes appearances and signs autographs to this day.  She attended an October, 2012 3D screening of The Creature From The Black Lagoon to celebrate Universal’s 100th anniversary then stayed after the film to sign autographs and take part in a Q&A session.  Adams has two children, Steve and Mitchell Danton.  With the upcoming “Monsters Universe” in the works, we are keeping our fingers crossed that Gill-Man will rise from the depths again but who will succeed the lovely Julie Adams as the apple of his eye?  Only time will tell.

Julie Adams

Adams at the 2012 3D Screening

(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)

About the author

Joe Grodensky

Joe is a man of paradox. Joe is mysterious yet an open book. Joe is outgoing yet introverted. Joe is part wolf and man. Joe's favorite monster movie? Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).

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