Just one actress dated Sheriff Andy, Hoss, The Rifleman and Maverick
She went from scream queen to femme fatale — with a stop in Mayberry.
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In her finale days as a teenager, Betty May Adams reigned as Miss Little Rock. Three years later, she was in Hollywood, where a movie studio decided she should be named "Julia." Adams was not a fan of her new stage name, but she used it in a string of B-Westerns throughout the early 1950s.
Showing off her skills as a swimmer and screamer, Julia Adams gained wide fame as the Gill-man's object of desire in Creature from the Black Lagoon. The 1954 Universal horror classic pitted her as the Fay Wray for a new generation.
Shortly thereafter, still uncomfortable with her first name, Adams had the studio change it to Julie. She just preferred the sound of that "e."
Just as she altered her moniker, Adams transitioned from movies to television. That's where the Westerns were headed in droves. Swapping Creature for cowboys, the Arkansas beauty queen found herself again and again in the role of the love interest.
In the series premiere of Yancy Derringer, she was the former belle of Yancy. She appeared alongside historical figures like Doc Holliday (Zane Grey Theater) and Custer (Cheyenne).
But the onetime damsel in distress transformed into a femme fatale. She was more of a black widow to Bart Maverick in "The White Widow." She was the scheming old flame of Lucas McCain in "Nora," a season-two episode of The Rifleman.
Her gold-digging character set her sights on Hoss in the Bonanza tale "The Courtship." She appeared a handful of times on Perry Mason, sometimes as the accused. Years later, she would be running an eerie clinic that hosts David Banner on The Incredible Hulk ("Life and Death ").
With all those devious roles, it's a wonder she ended up in such as sweet spot as a gal pal of Andy Taylor in Mayberry. She and the Sheriff flirt as they attempt to talk Rafe Hollister into taking his tetanus shot in "The County Nurse." Her character, Mary Simpson, was one of the fleeting girlfriends of Andy between Ellie and Helen. The character turns up twice, but a different actor (Sue Ane Langdon) filled the role in "Three's a Crowd."
Later in her career, Adams would land a recurring role as another Simpson, Eve Simpson, an eccentric Realtor on Murder, She Wrote. While she never truly played the lead — except, perhaps, as the wife of Jimmy Stewart in the short-lived, forgotten The Jimmy Stewart Show — Adams is the only TV star who can claim to have dated Andy Taylor, Lucas McCain, Hoss Cartwright and Bart Maverick.
Watch Bonanza "The Courtship" on Saturday, June 27, at 2PM | 1C on MeTV!