It is with heavy hearts that we report Julie Adams, the star of Universal’s classic horror film, Creature From the Black Lagoon has died at the age of 92.
Adams’ death was confirmed on her official website. She died in Los Angeles.
Adams was one of the last remaining stars of Universal’s classic horror family. Her role as Kay Lawrence in the 1954 classic horror film, Creature From the Black Lagoon cemented her status as a genre icon.
Her Hollywood career spanned six decades and she appeared in numerous film and Television roles.
Among her film credits: Tickle Me, a 1965 Elvis Presley vehicle; Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie (1971); McQ with John Wayne (1974); The Underwater City (1962); The Killer Inside Me (1976); The Fifth Floor (1978); Champions (1984); and Catchfire(1990). Her final credit was a voiceover in director Roman Polanski’s 2011 film Carnage.
A small selection of TV credits through the decades include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Rifleman, Bonanza, The Streets of San Francisco, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Andy Griffith Show, Murder She Wrote, Beverly Hills 90210 and The Jimmy Stewart Show.
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Ms. Adams on a few occasions including an exclusive interview in Chicago back in 2013 at a screening of CFTBL. I would like to share a few paragraphs from my interview with Adams below.
The year was 1954, Marilyn Monroe marries baseball player Joe DiMaggio, Rock and Roll is born when Bill Haley & His Comets record “Rock Around The Clock”, and The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously that segregated schools are unconstitutional via Brown v. Board of Education and Universal Pictures last classic monster film Creature from the Black Lagoon is released into theaters. The film becomes an instant hit for the studio making it one of the greatest horror films of the 1950’s and cementing The Creature’s status as one of the main monsters in Universal’s pantheon of classic monsters, joining the ranks of Frankenstein’s monster, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man and Phantom of the Opera.
Betty May Adams was born in 1926 in Iowa; she then moved and grew up in Arkansas performing in school plays with aspirations of becoming an actor. In the late 40’s, she followed her path to Hollywood to become an actor. With a little luck, she was cast in several westerns under her real name Betty Adams which she changed to Julia Adams once she signed with Universal, then fate took over.
The female lead and star of Creature was the lovely Julia Adams (she would later change her name to Julie) in the role of swimming scientist Kay Lawrence. Unbeknownst to Julie, her role in the soon to be classic film would make her immortal to fans of horror and fantastic cinema and would be the unlikely benchmark in her long career that has spanned over 60 years and over 145 film and television roles. Of the many highlights in Creature, Julie’s swimming appearance in that iconic white, one-piece bathing suit which graced the movie’s one-sheet and plethora of still pictures, stands out as the epitome of beauty from Hollywood’s Golden Age and is still stunning to this very day.
Julie worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time, including Jimmy Stewart, Elvis Presley, Rock Hudson, Arthur Kennedy, Tyrone Power and John Wayne, to name a few. She has worked steadily throughout her long and varied Hollywood career in everything from westerns, dramas, comedies, musicals, action and of course a few horror films. Julie Adams remains a classic example of the warmth, integrity and grace of what a leading lady from Hollywood’s Golden Age should be. She wrote her autobiography along with her son, Mitchell Danton. Her book entitled The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections From The Black Lagoon is available on her website: www.julieadams.biz.
In 1955 Adams married actor Ray Danton, her costar in the film The Looters, and the two remained together until divorcing in 1981. She was in a long-term partnership with film and TV writer Ronald M. Cohen until his death in 1998.
Adams is survived by sons Steve Danton, an actor and assistant director, and Mitchell Danton, a TV editor, among
All of us at Horror Patch would like to offer our condolences to Julie Adams’ son Mitch and the rest of her family, friends, and fans. She was a special lady that will always be remembered as the beauty who tamed the beast.
R.I.P. Julie Adams: Born October 17, 1926 – Died February 3, 2019