Julie London | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Julie London 


Wednesday, Oct 25 2000

Julie London, whose sultry vocals and provocative album covers established her as the ultimate torch-song sex symbol, died on October 18 of natural causes. Born Julie Peck in Santa Rosa, California, London was the daughter of a song-and-dance vaudeville team. When she was a teenager, the family moved to L.A., and she found work as an elevator operator in a department store. She was discovered there by agent Sue Carol, who arranged a screen test for her. In 1944, she made the first of roughly a dozen film appearances. Shortly after, she met Jack Webb, the Dragnet star/producer. They married in 1947 and divorced in 1953.

Shortly after, London met Bobby Troup, actor, pianist and composer (“Route 66”), who encouraged her to sing. In 1955, she cut Julie Is Her Name, supported by a bass-guitar duo. Its single, “Cry Me a River,” became a hit, launching her 13-year affiliation with Liberty Records, all the while epitomizing “torch.” Her version of Willie Nelson’s “Night Life” — “When the evening sun goes down/You will find me hangin’ ’round” — was iconographic Julie: nocturnal sexuality and cigarette-smoked wisdom. In real life, she was a happily married Valley mom. But her seductive vocals and pinup album covers established her as a sexual ideal. She stopped recording regularly in 1968. In 1972, Webb offered London and Troup roles on the TV show Emergency! She said yes, and played Nurse Dixie McCall until 1977, when the program was canceled.

London lived out her days in relative seclusion, rarely allowing photographs or interviews. Troup died in April 1999. London is survived by four children.

Related Stories

  • California Thursdays Brings Fresh Local Produce to Schoolkids

    Nearly 1 million students in California, including in Los Angeles, will be test subjects for an experimental school food approach – feeding them freshly prepared, locally grown foods. It’s part of a statewide pilot program called California Thursdays that seeks to do something audacious – serve California food to California...
  • Poor You 7

    We recently told you that California is America's "richest state," which is true. Now we're telling you that, for the third year in a row, California has been named as America's poorest state. That's also true. See also: California Is America's Richest State How can both statements be accurate? Well, unfortunately,...
  • Porn Shuts Down 2

    While the world frets over Ebola, the porn business continues to confront the scourge of STDs. The industry trade group known as the Free Speech Coalition yesterday called for a three-day production shut down after learning from a public health official that a performer possibly contracted HIV on-set. The Canoga...
  • DJ Carisma Is L.A. Radio's Biggest Champion of West Coast Hip-Hop

    could stroll back and forth down this blah stretch of Burbank and never realize that you’d passed one of the most influential corners of West Coast hip-hop. The nerve center of Young California can’t be seen from the street. The only signage attached to the sunbaked taupe building belongs to...
  • Eco This

    L.A. is a smog-challenged, traffic-congested metropolis bustling with not-so-earth-friendly commerce. And California is a smoke-stack-fueled economic powerhouse with a manufacturing sector worth more than $200 billion a year. And yet, there appears to be some truth to the stereotype that Golden State residents are tree-hugging, Prius driving eco-warriors. California made...

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets