We regret to say that Julie Parrish passed away on October 1st, 2003. Below you will see the last message which she posted to this, her personal website. As you will note, her "family" extended to all those who loved and admired her. She was a kind and compassionate soul. Her sense of humor and zest for life brightened our lives. She will be deeply missed. We know that you are grieving with us.

The memorial service for Julie was Saturday, October 25, at 12:00 P.M., at the Christian Institute, 1308 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the cause of aiding abused women and their children. Please see the news page for more information. If you care to send a card to the family, please address it to:

The Wilbar Family, PO Box 1702, La Mirada, CA 90637-1702.

Unfortunately, we have no remaining autographed photos of Julie. If you had written to Julie, requesting a photo, your check will be returned to you. However, we do have her unautographed photos. If you would like one of these un-autographed photos as a memento, we will send it to you for the same postage and handling fee which Julie had advertised.

There was also a service for Julie in Tecumseh, Michigan. Please see the news page for details.

Our sincere thanks to you who have loved Julie as we do.

Julie's Family


3 Heads

 
 

Hello Friends and Family, and especially those friends who just feel like family. 

Welcome to my website. 

As many of you know, my career in Hollywood began in the early 1960s. It makes me smile to realize that I have become somewhat of a collector's item at this point. People write to me and ask for autographs on photos from shows such as "The Menagerie" Star Trek, the original series, "Paradise Hawaiian Style" a movie with Elvis Presley, the original "The Nutty Professor," with Jerry Lewis, and from some of the old television series and teen films that I did. I have made some of those photos available to you on this website as well as a list of all the shows that I've done. Thank you! I so very much appreciate your caring. 

My most recent acting work was a recurring role on the popular Fox Network series "Beverly Hills 90210." Beginning in early 1996, I was Joan Diamond, the wife of series regular character Nat Bussichio, played by veteran actor Joe E. Tatta. I enjoyed working on the show. All the people were nice to work with, and the guys were so-o-o-o-o cute!!!!!! Lordy! 

My early years in Hollywood seem an almost innocent time now. We girls still had to deal with white haired old men chasing us around the audition desks, and we were taught to find a quick and safe way out of the office, without hurting the geezer's feelings. Mainly because if grandpa was big enough, you might not work for him again, and that makes agents nervous, but all in all, people were kinder then. 

Years after, Hollywood became somewhat of an "openly" ugly place, with film studio owners finding the right price for handing over the directorship of our beloved business to corporate America. Ergo some not always "creative-minded" people made choices for us with a clear focus on the bottom line. They became the dictators of what the entertainment audience would and could watch. Sex and violence seemed to bring in the most money. An advertising frenzy directed toward the very young and the upwardly mobile did not seem to care what I thought. Talented minds turned coke-heads worked for them. A crowning point in my career came when an agent asked me to send some cocaine to two popular casting partners, in order to thank them for a show that I had been cast in. It seemed to me that I got the show by the grace of my own acting abilities, and had auditioned at the request of the director, a long-time friend and fellow actor. Call me a spoil-sport if you must, but I refused. 

I've made my share of mistakes, there's no doubt about it, but I think, for the most part, I've stuck by my guns and refused to compromise what I believe in. I personally won't go to violent movies, and although I absolutely love sex, I hate being forced to watch other people have it. I get embarrassed. It's too private. I can only wish that we would bring back "cutting away to the fireplace." I have so much respect for the few filmmakers who do. 

In February of 2000 I retired from my job at Haven Hills shelter for battered women and their children, where I was a full time on-staff counselor for the past nine years. Unfortunately my health will no longer allow that kind of stressful job in my life, but I loved helping the women and children so very much. I began working in this field as a volunteer on a rape and battery crisis hotline while I was going to college. I continue to speak publicly in an effort to curb the domestic violence that plagues our society. I also speak to teens on how to recognize dating violence. 

Many of you know that I am a cancer patient. I've survived ovarian cancer twice. You might think I'm lucky, and I am, but I know you don't always have to get sick. It's often a choice, though we may not realize that it is. It seems to have a lot to do with self-esteem and taking time to "smell the flowers." Stress seems to have much to do with it as well. 

The spiritual teachers and philosophers that I have studied, for the most part, teach that whatever it is that is on your plate is what you are supposed to be dealing with right now, right here. Every meeting is a divine appointment. I think that's true. At least it has worked that way for me. So I've learned to meet life's challenges head on, and to be as honest with myself, and with others, as I am able to be. The "Golden Rule" seems a good one to follow. What real harm could come from treating other people the way you would like to be treated? If you find that it doesn't work with someone, then you need to examine why you are there. What are you getting out of it? 

As far as stress is concerned, if you're a workaholic like me, you go along pushing the limits, coming back to health food and an occasional colonic, and you think you're going to be okay. You've always been lucky, you've always popped back faster than anyone. But eventually the wear on your body from the treadmill you're on catches up with you. Even a life peppered with meditation and healing breath exercises and yoga - all not practiced often enough to do much good because of forever being in "survival mode." 

Who knew it would turn out this way? For one thing, I didn't count on becoming an older woman in an ageist, gender-biased workplace. Not in the true sense, anyway. Call me "silly you," but a person doesn't like to think about that. If a person is lucky enough to be young, pretty and female in "this society," and actually working in "Hollywood," you can get used to taking for granted that the room may on occasion stop when you walk in. You are the "sought after" on many levels. Well at least on the trophy girlfriend level and the "making money for other people" level. 

It pretty much goes downhill from there if you let it, and for the most part by it's own momentum. I had the hardest time getting used to people looking right through me. I wasn't bad looking. I just wasn't 20 anymore. 

It actually didn't hit me until I was in my late 30's. I'd just left a truly mentally abusive relationship with a man five years older than me. I was broke. I'd lost contacts and all my property, and it took me quite by surprise. Ageism I mean. I don't think one can ever be prepared for it no matter what. After the anger that hangs around the edges like a ghost for a while, it comes down to a sad feeling, one more of disappointment than anything. Disappointment, I think, in humanity. A feeling that leaves you feeling devalued and vulnerable. You start not being able to make a decent living anymore. You accept the challenge. You work in a dress shop. You work in a coffee shop. You get religion. You go to college as a freshman. You love it. You get the Chancellor's distinguished Honor Award for your grade point average. You get your picture taken in your graduation gown. People say congratulations as you turn 50.

I got a job as a counselor in a shelter for battered women and their children. I had a whole new life, and there was still the occasional audition. But there began an awareness of a low-level buzz of anger in the pit of my stomach. I watched women come into the shelter with bruises, broken bones, their hair half torn out of their heads, their children traumatized. I'm not kidding when I say I was on the front lines of a war for 10 years. You don't know the half of it! 

In addition to that anger, there began a bit of growly-bear annoyance around auditioning for parts where the character description was something like (these are actual descriptions taken from scripts ): "Mrs Bridges, mid to late 40's, mother, a fading beauty," or try " female 40's, a cafè waitress years past her prime," or how about "Pushing 45, hard, she is clearly showing her age beneath the greasepaint" or "A Stanislavsky quoting wife who is 30 years past her prime." 

I sure as hell didn't see any male character descriptions where they called him " past his God-damned prime." You roll that around in your craw a while and see how it feels! Then arrives that day when you come to the place where your mortality is threatened for the first time, and you realize "cancer" could actually happen to you! The final insult!

Through this I keep reminding myself that I am right on time, and knowing that when I think anyone is being a jerk to me, I have to recognize what a nice opportunity it is to practice forgiveness and to practice not taking other people's "stuff" personally. I know that if I don't, then I will be stuck in this little "hell" until I do. Between you and me and the fence post, I found this "way harder" to do than it sounds, but a sense of humor helps tremendously. 

Then there's the actual experience. First in shock, with people telling you that you don't have any time to waste, "You've got to get on that operating table yesterday if not sooner." Then grateful for the knowledge of herbs and supplements, acupuncture, massage and chiropractic, but more grateful than anything, was I, for the spiritual side of my life. Actually I think I have to credit Larry Geller, Elvis' hairdresser, at the time back in the '60s, for turning me in the direction I was waiting for. Even though he may have been using it to get girls, he introduced me to a lot of great spiritual writers.

So now I knew that everything wasn't just black and white. I knew I didn't have to die, and if by chance it was actually "an appointment," then I could accept that. I do believe as Ram Dass' teacher told him, "We will not leave the body a minute before or a minute after the appointed time." It just didn't feel like I was taking these particular trains at this particular time, not in my very gut anyway. It felt more like a warning whistle. If I didn't get up off the track, I was going to be run over by the 9:05 as sure as shootin'." 

So here I am, recovering from a second time around with the dreaded ovarian cancer, and I'm okay. I did it again. I think I've always enjoyed certain types of bravery challenges. If my, "out of the 1930s big Depression" parents taught me, anything by their behavior, they taught me how to be brave. However, in spite of that, at this time I'd like to say that you can have your danged bravery. I'm squealing "Uncle!" I've been cut open 4 times, had parts removed that I was sad to lose, had my organs pulled out on the table each time and gone over with a magnifying glass. I'm here to tell you that I don't EVER! EVER! want to do that again. I grovel on my face on the ground in front of, and in awe of, women who, I know, have faced the knife more times than that. They've been through bone marrow replacements and all kinds of tortures. THEY are the brave ones. I'm just a wimp in comparison. And another thing, I've been to more funerals that I care to talk about or even think about. At the last one, there were only five of us left from a group of twelve. I, for one, was wondering who was next. 

So with that, what I want to extend from this site is a kindredship with people who care to visit it. That we should recognize that we are all equal and that each of us is on a path here on this earth, and that we are all right on time wherever it is that we are.

I would have us all recognize that we always .....always! suspect other people of what we ourselves are capable of. And the surest way to get out of that trap, is to as human beings, recognize the differences among us and respect each soul's path. And lastly, I'd like to say, "Thank you God for letting me be one of the people who got to kiss Elvis."

At present I'm just continuing to get well. I do my spiritual practice which involves meditation and the Art of Living healing breath techniques taught by the master, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art Of Living Foundation. My last chemotherapy was in November of 1999. It takes a good long while to get all the chemo out of your body. I still get tired, but I'm writing a one-woman show that I will do one day very soon. 

God bless us all.
Julie 

© Copyright 2000 - 2007 Julie Parrish.  All rights reserved.