Julie Adams, the damsel in distress in classic monster movie Creature from the Black Lagoon, has died, aged 92.
The 1954 film inspired last year’s Oscar-winner The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro, who tweeted about the news.
Adams died early on Sunday in Los Angeles, her son Mitch Danton told The Hollywood Reporter.
She also played estate agent Eve Simpson in Murder, She Wrote opposite Angela Lansbury, between 1987 and 1993.
Her other TV hits included The Jimmy Stewart Show in the 1970s – in which she played Stewart’s wife – and 60s detective series Perry Mason.
She also starred opposite Elvis Presley in Tickle Me (1965) and had roles in The Last Movie (1971) with Dennis Hopper and McQ with John Wayne (1974).
But it was Creature from the Black Lagoon that catapulted her to stardom.
Universal wanted Adams to star as Kay Lawrence, who would become the object of desire for Gill-Man, played by Ben Chapman.
But in an interview for the Horror Society six years ago, Adams said she wasn’t sure whether to take the role at first.
“I thought, ‘The creature from what? What is this?’ because I had been working with some major stars and so on.
“But I read it and said, ‘If I turn it down, I won’t get paid and I’ll be on suspension.’ And then I thought, ‘What the hay! It might be fun.’ And of course, indeed it was. It was a great pleasure to do the picture.”
In her Horror Society interview, Adams gave one reason why she thought Creature from the Black Lagoon’s reputation has endured.
“I think the best thing about the picture is that we do feel for the creature. We feel for him and his predicament,” she said.
Adams was originally from Iowa but moved a lot as a child before heading to Hollywood to try her luck in showbusiness.
She is survived by her two sons from her marriage to actor/director Ray Danton and her four grandchildren.
Instead of flowers, the family has asked for memorial donations to charities The Nature Conservancy or the World Wildlife Fund.