On Saturday night, Julie Adams appeared at Sun-Ray Cinema in Five Points. Adams starred as Kay, the love interest of Universal horror icon The Creature in 1954's "The Creature from the Black Lagoon." She was utterly charming as she signed posters, memorabilia, and copies of her book, "The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections from the Black Lagoon," in addition to introducing the excellent new 3D print of the film and answering questions from the crowd at the sold-out show. Adams is one of few surviving cast members from Universal Monster movies still making appearances.
For many years, Adams enchanted fans appearing at conventions and other events with Ben Chapman, who portrayed the Creature. After Chapman's passing in 2008, Adams' son Mitchell Danton began accompanying Adams at appearances. Danton, son of Adams and late actor/director Ray Danton, grew up in Hollywood. He is now an award-winning television editor and co-author of Adams' book.
One reminiscence about filming the movie included the incident where Chapman, who couldn't see well in the costume, accidentally scraped Adams' head on the grotto walls while carrying her through a narrow opening. Although many of the underwater scenes were filmed on location here in Wakulla Springs, Florida, Adams and Danton verified that Adams never filmed here. All her scenes were shot in Hollywood with a body double used for the underwater scenes.
Besides filming of this picture at Wakulla Springs, Silver Springs and Rice Creek in nearby Palatka, the Creature holds a dear spot in the hearts of Jacksonvillians since its sequel, "Revenge of the Creature," includes scenes shot at the former Lobster House on J-ville's Southbank, in the St. Johns River and at nearby Marineland. Click here to read more about filming on the Southbank and here to read more about filming at Marineland.
A question to Adams about the film centered on what ever happened to the Rita, the boat on which the film took place, and she said as far as she knows, it went the way of all boats. She was also questioned about the brand of the white swimsuit she wears in the film and was delighted to report that it was custom-made for her, for the film, the only time she owned a bathing suit made just for her.
Among those in attendance at the Saturday Sun-Ray event was Jacksonville horror artist Jerrod Brown. Brown has put brush to canvas for two excellent paintings of The Creature, and he posed with Adams while holding each. (See attached slideshow.) Click here to see more amazing works from Brown.
When asked who was the better kisser, Lorne Greene or Jimmy Stewart, Adams coyly answered, "Don't tell Lorne, but..." And Danton finished what she left unsaid saying Adams has always been a huge admirer of Stewart. Adams appeared with Greene on the TV shows "Bonanza" and "Code Red." She starred in the film "Bend of the River" with Stewart and played his wife in the short-lived "The Jimmy Stewart Show." Adams also talked about her wonderful experiences starring opposite Elvis Presley, who she called a true Southern gentleman, in musical western "Tickle Me," and working with Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show."