Julie London

The Girl With Two New Careers


LOOK Magazine

Tuesday - September 16, 1958

Two offbeat triumphs have given Julie London two new careers and a new direction in life. Her breathy version of Cry Me A River made her a recording star almost overnight. Her portrayal of an alcoholic singer in The Great Man sent studios scurrying for scripts that would bring out her sullen sex appeal. The outspoken Julie has plans for her careers. She wants to sing “gutsy, unhappy songs” and play in “an old-style musical---and all that jazz.”

Julie’s movie roles get bigger and better. Here, she plays opposite Gary Cooper in Man of the West.

Julie London sings at a recording session. Her plaintive voice gives the blues a different sound.

She usually portrays a girl who has a “problem”

    Julie London’s first record album, besides catching the public’s ear, also opened its eyes. Her sexy photograph on the album jacket generated enough voltage to light up a theater marquee. Movie producers noticed it, and she got the part in The Great Man. Similar roles followed. She played a secret drinker in Drango. In Man of the West, she portrays a worldly dance-hall singer who doesn’t get her man. And she is cast as the suffering wife of an alcoholic in Voice in the Mirror. No blues singer turned actress could ask for more.

    Julie says of her film career, “I’m trying to do all of the social problems.” She attempts what may be the hottest of them in A Question of Adultery, a story that deals with the emotional and legal conflicts involved in artificial insemination. “They shot the picture with two endings,” she says, “I don’t know which one they’ll use.”

     There may be yet another career ahead for Julie. She wrote the title song for Voice in the Mirror. Julie says “Nobody believes I did it. They think Bobby Troup wrote it.” But the film credit for the lamenting song reads: “By Julie London.”

Julie London’s sultry voice is breathy and intimate. She has made seven albums of “sad blues” since her first hit in 1955.

As the hero of Man of the West, Gary Cooper is the captive of desperadoes, who force Julie London to do a strip tease.

Disrobing under the duress of the script, Julie London introduces a new dimension to the horse opera as a dance-hall queen with a heart of gold.

Her success resumes a career she began at three

A close friend of pianist and composer Bobby Troup, right, Julie watches TV jazz show he emceed this summer.

Julie London’s parents were a song-and-dance team in vaudeville. So it seemed natural for her to begin her career at age three by purring Falling In Love Again into a radio microphone. She left high school at 15 to work as a department-store elevator operator. She was spotted by the right customer (Sue Carol, agent and wife of Alan Ladd) and shortly afterward got a movie contract.

    Julie played minor roles in eight films, then quit, in 1947 to marry Jack Webb, now the star of Dragnet. They were divorced in 1953. A restless Julie spent the next few years taking care of her daughters Stacy and Lisa. “It was a time,” one friend remembers, “when Julie’s confidence was gone.” Bobby Troup, a jazz musician and close friend brought Julie out of her shell. He got her a booking at a Hollywood night club. There, her small voice created a big stir. Then she recorded Cry Me A River. It sold almost a million copies. She says, “After that, everybody wanted Julie again.”


Julie’s daughters, Lisa, five, and Stacy, eight, enjoy a bedtime chat with their mother. Their father is TV star Jack Webb.

A bubble bath delights Lisa. Julie says, “If my girls have talent, they won’t start show business until they’re 18.”