Julie London

For the 1964 album, see Julie London (album).
Julie London

London in 1958
Born (1926-09-26)September 26, 1926
Santa Rosa, California
Died October 18, 2000(2000-10-18) (aged 74)
Encino, California
Cause of death Cardiac arrest
Occupation Singer, actress, pin-up model
Years active 1944–1979
Spouse(s) Jack Webb (m. 1947–54) (divorced)
(2 children)
Bobby Troup (m. 1959–99) (his death)
(3 children)

Musical career

Genres Jazz, pop
Labels Bethlehem, Liberty, London, RCA
Website www.julielondon.org

Julie London (born Julie Peck,[1] Gayle Peck[2] or Nancy Peck (sources differ); September 26, 1926 – October 18, 2000) was an American nightclub, jazz and pop singer, film and television actress and a former pinup model, whose career spanned five decades of television. She was noted for her smoky, sensual husky voice and languid demeanor. She released 32 albums of pop and jazz standards during the 1950s and 1960s, with her signature song being the classic "Cry Me a River", which she introduced in 1955. She had also appeared as a guest on several talk shows and as a panelist on numerous game shows.

London's 35-year acting career began in films in 1944, and included playing opposite Rock Hudson in The Fat Man (1951), Gary Cooper in Man of the West (1958) and Robert Mitchum in The Wonderful Country (1959). She achieved continuing success in the 1970s medical drama Emergency! (1972–79), co-starring her real-life husband, Bobby Troup, and produced by her ex-husband, Jack Webb, in which London played the female lead role of Nurse Dixie McCall, her last starring role.

Early life

An only child,[3] London was born on September 26, 1926, in Santa Rosa, California, the daughter of Jack and Josephine Peck, who were a vaudeville song-and-dance team.[4] In 1929, when she was 3 years old, her family moved to San Bernardino, California, where she made her début singing professionally on her parents' radio program.[5] In 1941, when she was 14, the family moved to Hollywood, California. Shortly after that, she began appearing in films. She graduated from the Hollywood Professional School in 1945.



London began singing (under the name Gayle Peck) in public in her teens before appearing in film. She was discovered by talent agent Sue Carol (wife of actor Alan Ladd), while working as an elevator operator. Her early film career did not include any singing roles.

London recorded 32 albums in a career that began in 1955 with a live performance at the 881 Club in Los Angeles.[6] Billboard named her the most popular female vocalist for 1955, 1956, and 1957. She was the subject of a 1957 Life cover article in which she was quoted as saying, "It's only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate."[7]

London's début recordings were for the Bethlehem Records label. While shopping for a record deal, she recorded four tracks that would later be included on the compilation album Bethlehem's Girlfriends in 1955. Bobby Troup backed London on the album. London recorded the standards "Don't Worry About Me", "Motherless Child", "A Foggy Day", and "You're Blasé".

London's most famous single, "Cry Me a River", was written by her high-school classmate Arthur Hamilton and produced by Troup.[8] The recording became a million-seller after its release in December 1955,[9] and also sold on reissue in April 1983 from the attention brought by a Mari Wilson cover. London performed the song in the film The Girl Can't Help It (1956), and her recording gained later attention in the films Passion of Mind (2000) and V for Vendetta (2006). The song "Yummy Yummy Yummy" was featured on the HBO television series Six Feet Under and appears on its soundtrack album. London's "Must Be Catchin'" was featured in the 2011 premiere episode of the ABC series Pan Am. Her last recording was "My Funny Valentine" for the soundtrack of the Burt Reynolds film Sharky's Machine (1981).


Though primarily remembered as a singer, London also made more than 20 films. Her widely regarded beauty and poise (she was a pin-up girl prized by GIs during World War II) contrasted strongly with her pedestrian appearance and streetwise acting technique (much parodied by impersonators). One of her strongest performances came in Man of the West (1958), starring Gary Cooper and directed by Anthony Mann, in which her character, the film's only woman, is abused and humiliated by an outlaw gang.[10]


In the 1950s, London appeared in a television advertisement for Marlboro cigarettes, singing the "Marlboro Song". She and second husband Bobby Troup appeared as panelists on the game show Tattletales several times in the 1970s. In 1978, London appeared in TV advertisements for Rose Milk Skin Care Cream.

She performed on many television variety series, and also in dramatic roles, including guest appearances on Rawhide (1960), Laramie (1960),[11] I Spy (1965) and The Big Valley (1968). On May 28, 1964, she and Troup recorded a one-hour program for Japanese television in Japan.[12] London sang 13 of her classic songs including "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Lonesome Road", and "Cry Me a River".[12]

London with Richard Long in The Big Valley, 1968
London and husband Bobby Troup in 1971, in Emergency!


She remained close with ex-husband Jack Webb, who in 1972 cast London and Troup for starring roles in the TV series Emergency!, on which he served as executive producer. London played Rampart General Hospital's, Chief Nurse of the Emergency Room, Dixie McCall, while Troup had the role of emergency room physician Dr.Joe Early. They also appeared in an episode of the Webb-produced series Adam-12, reprising their roles. The on-screen camaraderie between London, Troup, Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe (who played paramedics Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto) carried over into real-life. They remained good friends after the series came to a close.[13]

In 1977, after a six-year run of 128 episodes, Emergency! was put on hiatus, despite good ratings. London, the only actress to appear in every episode of the series, was invited back for two of four movie specials, before the show ended for good in 1979. Afterward, Webb proposed making London an executive producer of possible TV projects, but instead she retired from Hollywood to spend more time with her family.

Personal life


In 1947, London married actor Jack Webb (of Dragnet fame). This pairing arose from their common love of jazz.[14] They had two daughters, Stacy and Lisa Webb. London and Webb divorced in 1954. Daughter Stacy Webb died in a traffic accident in 1996.

In 1959, London married jazz composer and musician Bobby Troup; and they remained married until his death, in 1999. They had one daughter, Kelly Troup, who died in 2002, and twin sons, Jody and Reese Troup. Jody Troup died in 2010.[15][16] London was also the stepmother of Cynthia and Ronne Troup, Bobby's daughters from his marriage to Cynthia Hare; they are both entertainers.

Later life and death

A private and introverted woman,[17][18] London, who had been a chain smoker since 16, suffered a stroke in 1995, and was in poor health until her death on October 18, 2000 (the day her husband, Bobby Troup, would have been 82), in Encino, California, at age 74.[19][20][21] London was interred next to Troup in the Courts of Remembrance, Columbarium of Providence, at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.[22] Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording is at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.




Year Title Role Notes
1944 Nabonga Doreen Stockwell
1945 Janie Girlfriend Uncredited
1945 Diamond Horseshoe Chorine Uncredited
1945 On Stage Everybody Vivian Carlton
1946 Night in Paradise Palace Maiden Uncredited
1947 The Red House Tibby
1948 Tap Roots Aven Dubney
1949 Task Force Barbara McKinney
1950 Return of the Frontiersman Janie Martin
1951 The Fat Man Pat Boyd
1955 The Fighting Chance Janet Wales
1956 Crime Against Joe Frances 'Slacks' Bennett
1956 The Girl Can't Help It Herself
1956 The Great Man Carol Larson
1957 Drango Shelby Ransom
1958 Saddle the Wind Joan Blake
1958 A Question of Adultery Mary Loring
1958 Voice in the Mirror Ellen Burton
1958 Man of the West Billie Ellis
1959 The Wonderful Country Helen Colton
1959 The 3rd Voice Corey Scott
1961 The George Raft Story Sheila Patton


Year Title Role Notes
1954 Armstrong Circle Theatre Episode: "Hit a Blue Note" (5.15)
1956 The Rosemary Clooney Show Episode 2
1957 The Ed Sullivan Show (10.27)
1957 Zane Grey Theater Julie Episode: "A Time to Live" (1.25)
1957 Shower of Stars Episode: "Jazz Time" (3.7)
1957 Playhouse 90 Angela Episode: "Without Incident (1.36)
1957 Person to Person Season 5 premiere
1957 The Big Record Herself Episode 3
1957–61 What's My Line? Herself – Mystery Guest 3 episodes
1959 The David Niven Show Maggie Malone Episode: "Maggie Malone" (1.9)
1959 Adventures in Paradise Dalisay Lynch Episode: "Mission to Manilla" (1.7)
1960 The Red Skelton Hour Up and Coming Vocalist Episode: "Clem the Disc Jockey" (9.13)
1960 Laramie June Brown Episode: "Queen of Diamonds" (2.1)
1960 Rawhide Anne Danvers Episode: "Incident at Rojo Canyon (3.1)
1960 Michael Shayne Anita Episode: "Die Like a Dog" (1.3)
1960 Dan Raven June Carey Episode: "Tinge of Red" (1.12)
1961 Hong Kong Penny Carroll Episode: "Suitable for Framing" (1.14)
1961 The Barbara Stanwyck Show Julie Episode: "Night Visitors" (1.14)
1961 Checkmate Libby Nolan Episode: "Goodbye, Griff" (1.28)
1961 Follow the Sun Jill Rainey Episode: "Night Song" (1.11)
1962 The Jack Benny Program Herself-Singer Episode: "March 4, 1962"
1963 The Eleventh Hour Joan Ashmond Episode: "Like a Diamond in the Sky" (1.19)
1963 The Dick Powell Theatre Linda Baxter Episode: "Charlie's Duet" (2.25)
1965 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Barbara Episode: "Crimson Witness" (3.12)
1965 The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson Herself – Singer Episode: "October 19, 1965)
1965 I Spy Phyllis Episode: "Three Hours on a Sunday Night" (1.12)
1967 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Laura Sebastian Episode: "The Prince of Darkness Affair: Part II" (4.5)
1968 The Hollywood Squares Herself 5 episodes
1968 The Big Valley Julia Saxon Episode: "They Called Her Delilah" (4.2)
1972 Adam-12 Dixie McCall, R.N. Episode: "Lost and Found" (5.4)
1972–78 Emergency! Dixie McCall, R.N. 126 episodes


  1. "LIFE". Time Inc. 24 February 1947: 87–. ISSN 0024-3019.
  2. Hal Leonard Corp. (1 July 2007). The Great American Songbook - The Singers: Music and Lyrics for 100 Standards from the Golden Age of American Song. Hal Leonard. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-4584-8195-5.
  3. "Jazz". Retrieved 2015-01-25.
  4. Summerfield, Maurice J. (31 October 2008). Barney Kessel, a jazz legend. Ashley Mark Publishing. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-872639-69-7. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  5. "Julie London Profile". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  6. McKnight-Trontz, Jennifer (30 July 1999). Exotiquarium: Album Art from the Space Age. St. Martin's Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-312-20133-3. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  7. LIFE. Time Inc. 18 February 1957. p. 74. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  8. Cason, Buzz (2004). Living the Rock 'n Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Cason. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-61780-116-7. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  9. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 75. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  10. Loy, R. Philip. Westerns in a Changing America, 1955–2000. McFarland. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7864-8301-3. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  11. "TV Guide". Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  12. 1 2 "The Julie Jones Television Show Videos". JulieLondon.org. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  13. "Randolph Mantooth Biography". Starpulse.com. 1945-09-19. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  14. Staggs, Sam (4 February 2003). Close-up on Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond, and the Dark Hollywood Dream. St. Martin's Press. p. 289. ISBN 978-1-4668-3046-2. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  15. "Julie London". Nndb.com. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  16. "Julie London Biography". Musicianguide.com. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  17. http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=114233&sid=75
  18. McKinstry, Leo. "Julie London is the voice of Marks and Spencer's Christmas Advert | Life | Life & Style | Daily Express". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  19. Martin, Douglas (19 October 2000). "Julie London, Sultry Singer and Actress of 50's, Dies at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  20. "A small voice to make a big stir: Julie London gets back to movies". Life. 18 February 1957. pp. 74–78.
  21. "Julie London". The Times. 19 October 2000. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  22. For the original niche, see Julie London at Find a Grave. The remains were relocated within the same columbarium. See: Julie London at Find a Grave.
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