A sultry, smoky-voiced master of understatement, Julie London enjoyed considerable popularity during the cool era of the 1950s. London never had the range of Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan, but often used restraint, softness, and subtlety to maximum advantage. An actress as well as a singer, London played with heavyweights like Gregory Peck and Rock Hudson in various films, and was married to Jack Webb of Dragnet fame for seven years before marrying songwriter Bobby Troup ("Route 66"). London performed her biggest hit, "Cry Me a River," in the Jayne Mansfield film The Girl Can't Help It. After recording her last album, Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, in 1969, she continued to act -- playing a nurse on the NBC medical drama Emergency from 1974-1978. Despite her "sex symbol" image -- London was known for her sexy LP covers, which make them collector's items -- she was surprisingly shy, and left show biz altogether in the late '70s. In the mid-'90s London suffered a stroke, which led to a half-decade of poor health and ultimately contributed to her death on October 18, 2000. ~ Alex Henderson
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