Julie London’s Got A Lot To Like


Winnepeg Free Press

Saturday, February 26, 1972

TV Diary

The Hollywood Scene

By Charles Webrick

HOLLYWOOD --- Instead of launching into the old “You get a lot to like with a Marlboro” in that familiar husky sexy voice of hers, singer Julie London, mouthing straight lines as Nurse Dixie McCall, rushes off to auto accident victims and giving Doctor Kelly Brackett a soft eye on Jack Webb”s Emergency show this winter on Saturday nights for NBC.

In her starched white uniform, Webb’s former wife looks fine conducting the on and off romance with Robert Fuller’s Brackett between emergency calls, airing “little beefs so we can make up.”

Caption: Famous as a singer, Julie London plays a uniformly different role as Nurse Dixie McCall in Emergency, NBC’s Saturday night series.

Working days in a studio rather than nights in a club suits the lady, though the switch in hours almost destroyed Julie at first.

“I had just finished a Las Vegas club date this fall when Emergency went into production,” Julie said, “and I had to get up just about the time I’m used to going to bed. Those first three shooting days were killers.

Then we go out on location and almost freeze to death in a night sequence. And I’m supposed to crawl into this overturned car hanging on the side of a cliff. I’m scared of height, so I just wouldn’t look down. Luckily I didn’t. I had no idea how high up we were until I saw the show.”

The benefits, however, in playing straight lady outweigh the inconveniences. Julie may look like she belongs in hot spots, but she’s a homebody, and working days at the studio, running home at nights to be with her family is her kind of living, and it beats the club business hollow.

“Julie doesn’t like to perform,” said husband Bobby Troup, who plays neurosurgeon Dr. Joe Early on the series. “She gets lonely on out-of-town club dates; so I join her when possible, and that means leaving the kids (Kelly, the twins Jody and Reese). A job like this solves all the problems.”

It’s a good thing the Troups dig kids, because, between them, Bobby and Julie have seven youngsters, the three just mentioned and two each by a previous marriage. Speaking of her brood, Julie said, “I can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend time with than our kids. We really have a ball.”

That’s hardly the line for the cigarette lady whose sexy voice and figure encompass a different age. The image is all wrong. Julie prefers the living room to her microphone. She prefers to talk about daughter Lisa Webb’s nursing career, or daughter Stacy Webb, a schoolteacher. Rather than toot her own horn on the singing career like most performers, Julie will say, “I do what I do and I really can’t do anything.”

She plays to “mostly a middle-group” audience, refuses to try rock songs, even at home, where Donnie Osmond is the hero among the kids. She says she likes the Blood, Sweat and Tears, The Beatles, and Simon and Garfunkle, realizing as she talks that “they’re old fashioned now.”

Miss London makes small adjustments in her act, such as singing Jimmy Webb’s Didn’t We?, lest she ignores the changing fashion. “All the clubs you go into features a better now,” she said. “Every act is a Barbara Streisand imitation. I still lean toward the Jack Jones and Tony Bennetts. I think Tony Bennett is the best in the world.”