Julie Adams, the leading lady of Creature from the Black Lagoon, passed away on Sunday, February 3, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA. Her son Mitch Danton confirmed the news. She was 92 years old.
Creature from the Black Lagoon revived Universal’s horror brand and was the last great monster introduced by the production house. Creature told a story of evolution with archaeologists finding a fossilized appendage from a being that was part fish, part human before encountering the Gill-man himself. What drew people to the movie was the beauty and the beast plotline with the Gill-man falling for Adams as Kay Lawrence, the girlfriend of a scientist who is searching for him. Director Jack Arnold was able to capture the interesting story with fright but also sympathy and beauty, particularly in a chilling underwater swimming sequence.
Adams was born Betty May Adams on October 17, 1926, in Waterloo, Iowa. At 19, she was crowned “Miss Little Rock” and moved to Hollywood to pursue acting. While working part time as a secretary, she got her start in acting primarily through B-movie westerns. Her first credits were in Your Show Time, Red, Hot and Blue, and The Dalton Gang, all in 1949. Some of her memorable Westerns of the 1950s were Bright Victory, Bend of the River, The Treasure of Lost Canyon, The Lawless Breed, and Wings of the Hawk.
Some of Adams’ other film credits include Francis Joins the WACS, Six Bridges to Cross, Tickle Me, The Last Movie, McQ, The Wild McCullochs, The Killer Inside Me, Champions, The Conviction of Kitty Dodds, and World Trade Center.
Most of her career was spent on television in memorable recurring roles and guest spots. She starred opposite Jimmy Stewart on The Jimmy Stewart Show and was the quirky realtor Eve Simpson on Murder, She Wrote. Her early TV credits were on Zane Grey Theater, The Loretta Young Show, Maverick, The Rifleman, 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason, and The Virginian by the end of the 1960s. Through the 1980s, she was on The Doris Day Show, Mod Squad, The Incredible Hulk, Cagney & Lacey, Quincey M.E., and Code Red. Her later TV appearances were on Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, Family Law, Cold Case, and CSI: NY.