Julie London was born in Santa Rosa, California on September 26, 1926. Her parents, Josephine and Jack Peck, had been vaudeville performers; Julie made her professional debut on their San Bernardino radio show when she was three years old. The family moved to Los Angeles when Julie was fourteen.
It was while she was working in a department store as an elevator operator that agent Sue Carol discovered Julie. She worked in films as well as a radio actress and she was photographed as a World War II pinup in 1943. She also sang occasionally with some small groups.
Julie met Jack Webb when she was fifteen; the two dated until Jack went into the Army. After his discharge from the Army, the two resumed dating until Jack went to San Francisco to do a radio show. When the show ended he returned to Hollywood and in 1947 Jack and Julie were married. Julie continued to work sporadically until their daughter Stacy was born in 1950. A second daughter, Lisa, was born in 1952, but Julie was not able to hold the marriage together when Jack's work became all-consuming and he no longer had time for his family. They were divorced in 1953.
In March, 1954, Julie met Bobby Troup, who recognized her talent and urged her to sing. She agreed to consider recording and cut four tracks for Bethlehem Records, but the company chose not to sign her. Eventually Julie was booked for a singing engagement at Johnny Walsh's 881 Club in Beverly Hills; the two-week engagement ran for ten weeks. Bobby brought Si Waronker to hear her and soon she was signed to record for Liberty records. Her first album, "Julie Is Her Name," almost single-handedly launched the torch singer popularity of the late 1950s and became her first gold album. Over the course of her career, she would record more than thirty albums for the label and, although "Cry Me A River" was her only "charted hit," she enjoyed a continuing popularity. Of all the popular female vocalists of the 1950s, Julie was one of the few that did not have roots in the big band era. She preferred small, intimate clubs, enjoyed singing for college groups, and even made a college tour through the South in the early 1960s. Julie also had the honor of singing for President John F. Kennedy at the White House Correspondents' Ball in 1961.
Along with her new singing career, Julie's film career took off once more and she began guesting on television variety shows as well. She also tried her hand at record-producing ["Do Re Mi," on the Liberty label] and wrote lyrics for songs such as "Voice in the Mirror" and "The Freshmen." She became a popular television series guest star and also made a pilot for a series. But it was not until Jack Webb's EMERGENCY! In 1972 that she actually had the opportunity to star in a series of her own.
But it was family, not career, that was Julie's priority. Her forty-year marriage to Bobby Troup lasted until his death in 1999. She and Bobby welcomed a daughter, Kelly, in 1962 and twin sons, Jody and Reese, in 1963. The quintessential homebody, Julie knitted socks and sweaters. Family oriented, she loved children, enjoyed sports, swimming, and playing games.
Julie enjoyed playing Dixie McCall and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work on EMERGENCY! Her last recording, "My Funny Valentine," for the film "Sharky's Machine" was made in 1981 and after that Julie happily retired from show business.
In 1995, Julie suffered a stroke and spent the last few years of her life in declining health. Tragedy struck the family in 1996 when Julie's oldest daughter, Stacy, was killed in a traffic accident. Bobby passed away in February 1999; Julie on October 18 (Bobby's birthday) in 2000 at the age of seventy-four. Her legacy remains in her music as well as in the rich and varied film and television work she left behind.