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Julie Brown

Julie Brown

Julie Brown is an American actress, stand-up comic, singer, and screenwriter. The daughter of a longtime NBC employee, Julie attended school first at Saint Elizabeth's School in Van Nuys and then Van Nuys High School, graduating in 1977. She attended Los Angeles Valley College before relocating to San Francisco, California in 1979. She returned to Los Angeles, California in 1982.

In the early 1980s, she represented the quintessential valley girl character, using this to great effect in various movie roles as well as in her stand-up comedy. Comedian Lily Tomlin saw Brown at a comedy club and gave her a part in her 1981 film The Incredible Shrinking Woman. A series of poorly received B-movies followed.

In 1983 Julie married writer and actor Terrence E. McNally, who would become her collaborator for years. (She has also collaborated with comedian and writer Charlie Coffey over the years.)

In 1985 she released her first EP, a five-song album called Goddess in Progress. The album, parodies of popular '80s music combined with her valley girl personality, was quickly discovered by the Dr. Demento Show. The songs 'Cause I'm a Blonde and The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun were given huge radio airplay across the world. The latter was a witty spoof on traditional 1950s songs about teen romance, la It's My Party, with cheerleaders' heads and pom-poms being blown to pieces by bullets and, finally, the homecoming queen cryptically explaining herself, I did it for Johnny before dying herself.

In 1987 Brown released her first full-length album, called Trapped in the Body of a White Girl. The album highlighted her comedic talent and valley girl personality but made it clear she was not necessarily a gifted singer. (This was actually part of the joke, as Brown felt that a lot of female singers at fame in the era were not particularly gifted.) The album's highlights were Homecoming Queen... and I Like 'Em Big and Stupid. Music videos were recorded and received heavy airplay on MTV.

In 1989, MTV gave Brown her own comedy and music video show, Just Say Julie. On the show she played the role of a demanding, controlling, and pessimistic glamour-puss from the valley. She made fun of popular music acts from the era. An example death scene:

Julie: Oh, I think I'm dying! Oh my God! I can see my family reaching out to me from the Great Beyond. Wait. What's that? A Wilson Phillips video? Oh no, I'm goin' to hell! Brown's career hit its peak in late 1989 with the release of the film Earth Girls Are Easy. Written, produced, and starring Brown, it was based loosely on a song by the same name from her debut EP. The film also starred Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. (Brown, in an attempt to show the same goodwill she was shown by Tomlin years before, cast unknown comedians Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans in the film. They later became superstars themselves.) At the end of 1989, she divorced McNally.

In 1992, Brown was given her own sketch comedy show on Fox called The Edge, but unfortunately its quirky humor didn't have a mass appeal and it was soon cancelled. (Brown did, however, cast another San Fernando Valley native, Jennifer Aniston, as a regular on this series. She went on to become a superstar herself.) That same year, she released the Showtime television movie Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful. A scathing satire of celebrity Madonna and her documentary film Truth or Dare, it was hailed by critics as a comedic triumph. Julie followed its success with another satire film, Attack of the 5 Ft. 2 Women, which lampooned Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, as well as Lorena Bobbitt. (She continued to make television guest appearances and contributed voices to various cartoons including Animaniacs.) She has one son, born in 1993. She married Ken Rathjen in 1994, the year Attack of the 5 Ft. 2 Women was produced.

In 1995, Brown collaborated on the production of a script she had co-written with director Amy Heckerling called Clueless. The film was a smash hit, and a TV series spinoff produced and directed by Brown was also popular. She focused on this show until its cancellation in 1999. In 2000, another series conceptualized, written and produced by Brown came into fruition. Called Strip Mall, it debuted on the Comedy Central network. However, like many series on said network, it only lasted two years before being cancelled.

Since 2004, Brown has been a frequent commentator on several E! specials, including 101 Reasons the '90s Ruled, 101 Most Starlicious Makeovers, 101 Most Awesome Moments in Entertainment, and 50 Most Outrageous TV Moments.

In 2005 Brown did the remarkable move of personally purchasing the rights to her Trapped album back from the record label and re-issuing it, label-free, herself. The album received a limited re-issue, however at a rather expensive price of $19.99. She also released a single, again label-free, titled I Want to Be Gay.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Julie Brown Facts

OccupationActress
BirthdayAugust 31, 1958 (59)
SignVirgo
BirthplaceVan Nuys, California, USA
Height5' 3" (1m60)  How tall is Julie Brown compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Vampire in Brooklyn
Wiener-Dog
Dark Seduction
A Goofy Movie
Screwed: The Movie
The Passenger
Mothers of the Bride
Executive Decision
Love Comes Softly
K-PAX
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