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Julie Adams (1926–2019), “Creature from the Black Lagoon” actress

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Starred alongside Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, and Elvis Presley

Julie Adams was an actress who left an indelible mark in pop culture with her performance as the Gill-man’s object of desire, Kay Lawrence, in “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” The 1954 horror movie was a hit and although she didn’t appear in its two sequels, she embraced her status as a scream queen. The title of the biography she published in 2011 was “The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections from the Black Lagoon.”  

Adams was born in Waterloo, Iowa, and spent much of her youth in Arkansas. She won the “Miss Little Rock” pageant before moving to Hollywood where she was signed by Universal and appeared in a slew of westerns. Her co-stars included top leading men like Jimmy Stewart, Rock Hudson, and Charlton Heston.  

She continued to act in film and on television for decades amassing dozens of credits. She had a notable recurring role in “Murder, She Wrote,” as eccentric realtor Eve Simpson, but  

her favorite experience as an actress was playing Jimmy Stewart’s wife in the short-lived 1971 comedy “The Jimmy Stewart Show.” It reunited the actors who’d become friends after first working together in the 1950s.  

“My idea of heaven was going to work with Jimmy Stewart every day for six months,” she told an interviewer in 2013.  

We invite you to share condolences for Julie Adams in our Guest Book.  

Died: Sunday, February 3, 2019 (Who else died on February 3?)  

Details of death: Died in Los Angeles at the age of 92.  


Is there someone you miss whose memory should be honored? Here are some ways.  


The Legacy of the Beauty and the Creature: One of the biggest fans of “Creature from the Black Lagoon” was director Guillermo del Toro who reimagined the relationship between a human woman and an aquatic monster as a romance. “The Shape of Water” won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017.  

Notable quote: “I thought the creature from what? What is this, because I had been working with some major stars and so on? What I thought were loftier ideas of film but I read it and I thought if I turn it down I won’t get paid and I’ll be on suspension and then I thought, what the hay, it might be fun, and of course, indeed it was. It was fun and was more than fun; it was a great pleasure to do the picture,” she told horrorsociety.com in 2013.  

What people said about her: “I mourn Julie Adams passing. It hurts in a place deep in me, where monsters swim.” —Guillermo del Toro, director of “The Shape of Water”  

Full obituary: Chicago Tribune  

Related lives: 

- Dick Miller (1928–2019), character actor appeared in “Gremlins”  

- James Karen (1923–2018), character actor appeared in “Poltergeist”  

- Deanna Lund (1937–2018), actress starred in “Land of the Giants”