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Dear Miss Julie is dead.
We became fast friends back in 1994, when I interviewed her for her role as Rhett Butler’s mother in Scarlett, a CBS miniseries that was loosely based on the sequel to Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone with the Wind.
I had just moved to Provincetown and she living in West Chatham, a beach plum’ throw away.
We’d have dinner, go to the theater (she fell asleep during a certain Ptown production and promptly began snoring; when the show was over, we went backstage she gushed to everyone how “great” they were!
When I bought my second house, she gave me a framed lobby card from I Am a Camera, inscribed “With love from the first Sally Bowles.” For a birthday. She gave me her (used) copy of Arthur Laurents autobiography, Original Story by Arthur Laurents: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood, a tome she dubbed “filthy.”
I last saw her when we went backstage to say hello to Liza Minnelli at the Melody Tent, and Liza had no idea who she was. Sad, since Julie originated the role of Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera, which later became the musical Cabaret.
Through it all, Julie and I gabbed and gossiped. Her brand of gossip wasn’t that of morbid curiosity. Her tales of working with Jimmy Dean and Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando and Tony Perkins weren’t rude . . . but insight and funny.
I cannot share those.
I will share this one:Julie and Charlie (Charles) Nelson Reilly were dear friends. They met while working on the 1965 Broadway musical Skyscraper. He visited her Cape Cod home often, staying in the guesthouse. After one visit, she realized he left his toupee in the cottage. She mailed it to him with this note: YOUR HAIR, MEIN HERR.
I can still remember how eyes twinkled over this story.
Now about Liz Taylor . . .