Family & Companions
The daughter of a vaudeville song-and-dance team, Julie London had show business in her blood. But rather than adopting the eager-to-please energy of vaudeville, London became known for a chilly inaccessibility that made her stunning blonde-bombshell looks even more enticing. The most enduring image of her long career occurs early in the classic rock and roll comedy "The Girl Can't Help It," when star Tom Ewell hallucinates London (playing his ex-girlfriend) coolly stalking him around his living room singing her signature hit single "Cry Me A River" with disdainful hauteur. London began her film career in the early 1940s, co-starring in pleasant but forgettable B-movies like "The Red House" and "Tap Roots." During this period, she was married to a struggling young actor named Jack Webb; following their 1954 divorce, London married jazz musician Bobby Troup, best known for writing the standard "Route 66." In 1955, London began her singing career with her aforementioned smash hit, following it with several years' worth of similarly cool jazz-pop hits delivered in her trademark husky whisper of a voice and packaged in some eye-popping LP sleeves. London wound down her film career in the early 1960s as her music career took precedence, but in 1972, Webb hired both London and Troup to play starring roles in the hit TV series "Emergency! ," which he produced. London retired from acting when "Emergency! " went off the air in 1978, having ceased her singing career several years previously. Julie London died October 18, 2000.