Actress Julie Adams, who made an impression both on TV and on the big screen during a career spanning more than six decades, has died. Adams died early Sunday morning in Los Angeles, according to media reports. She was 92.
While she had substantial roles on TV shows including “Murder, She Wrote,” “Code Red” and “The Jimmy Stewart Show,” in which she starred opposite the legendary actor in the early 1970s in his one attempt at a sitcom, Adams is best remembered as the object of the creature’s lust in the classic 1954 monster movie “Creature From the Black Lagoon.”
Images of Adams in her white bathing suit being carried off by the creature have become an indelible part of movie and sci-fi culture. And Adams embraced the sometimes over-the-top fan worship that came with her fame, making the rounds of movie festivals, autographing “Creature From the Black Lagoon” memorabilia, giving interviews about her work on “Creature” … and even titling her 2011 autobiography “The Lucky Southern Star — Reflections From the Black Lagoon.”
But her accomplishments on the screen went well beyond “Creature.” Adams starred in Westerns early in her career and went on to star opposite James Stewart in “Bend of the River” (1952), Robert Ryan in “Horizons West” (1952), Rock Hudson in “The Lawless Breed” (1953), Glenn Ford in “The Man From the Alamo” (1953), Van Heflin in “Wings of the Hawk” (1953) and many others.
On TV she was Mary Simpson, a romantic interest of Sheriff Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” and Eve Simpson, the man-hungry real estate lady on “Murder, She Wrote.” She appeared more recently in guest roles on shows including “CSI: NY,” “Cold Case” and “Lost.”
In the ’50s and ’60s Adams was a fixture on TV dramas and Westerns, with appearances on “Playhouse 90,” “The Loretta Young Show,” “Zane Grey Theater,” “One Step Beyond,” Cheyenne,” “Maverick,” “Bonanza,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and countless others.
For an interesting look at her work on the Iverson Movie Ranch in the B-Westerns of the early ’50s along with photos of Adams in that white bathing suit in “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” click here to go to the Iverson Movie Ranch Blog to read a photo feature focused largely on Adams, published last June.
More photos of Adams in “Creature From the Black Lagoon” — including more of the white bathing suit, along with documentation of a head injury she suffered while the creature, known on the set as the Gill Man, was carrying her around — can be found in another Iverson Movie Ranch Blog item, from May 2018, by clicking here. Scroll down toward the end of the post for the Julie Adams material.
Below is a clip of Adams a few years ago talking about her time in Westerns and recalling her experiences on “Creature From the Black Lagoon” …