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Obituaries

Julie Bishop, 87; Actress Was in 84 Movies

September 09, 2001|MYRNA OLIVER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Julie Bishop, titian-haired actress who appeared in 84 movies opposite such stars as Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne from 1923 to 1957 and in the television series "My Hero" with Bob Cummings in the early 1950s, has died.

Bishop, who also acted under her birth name of Jacqueline Wells, died of pneumonia Aug. 30, her 87th birthday, in Mendocino, Calif., said her daughter, actress Pamela Shoop Sweeney of Sherman Oaks.

The long-retired actress began her career as a child in silents, first in the 1923 "Children of Jazz," and worked with such luminaries as Clara Bow and Mary Pickford. Segueing easily into talkies, she made 49 films and four serials from 1925 to 1940, her daughter said.

Among them were "Tarzan the Fearless" with Buster Crabbe, "Tillie and Gus" with W.C. Fields, "Any Old Port" and "The Bohemian Girl" with Laurel and Hardy and the 1934 "The Black Cat" with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

Briefly acting under the name Diane Duval, Bishop starred in the 1940 serial titled "Heroes of the West."

Born in Denver, the daughter of a wealthy banker and oilman, the actress was reared in Wichita Falls, Texas, and, after her parents divorced, in Los Angeles where she began her movie career. She retained her name through child roles and several credits as an ingenue, but changed it to Julie Bishop at the studio's request in 1940 when she won a contract with Warner Bros.

The renamed star flourished, working opposite Errol Flynn in "Northern Pursuit," Bogart in "Action in the North Atlantic," Wayne in "Sands of Iwo Jima" and "The High and the Mighty," Robert Taylor in "Westward the Women," Roy Rogers in "The Ranger and the Lady," Gene Autry in "Back in the Saddle" and Alan Ladd in "Her First Romance" and "The Big Land," her final picture in 1957.

The actress appeared infrequently but memorably on stage, in such demanding roles as Ophelia in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" at the Pasadena Playhouse.

A licensed private pilot, Bishop painted still lifes, staging several exhibitions and decorating her homes with her art. She also was active in charitable work, beginning with entertaining soldiers at the Hollywood Canteen during World War II.

Bishop served as national president of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, an organization that provides scholarships for outstanding students of science and engineering. She also lent her energies to the National Charity League, Diadames and the League for Children.

During her years as a society matron and doyenne of philanthropic endeavors in Beverly Hills, she was named among the 10 best dressed women in Los Angeles.

Bishop was married three times--to wealthy scion Walter Booth Brooks III from 1936 to 1939; Maj. Gen. Clarence A. Shoop, a test pilot who flew for Howard Hughes and later became vice president of Hughes Aircraft, from 1944 until his death in 1968; and for the last 33 years to retired Beverly Hills surgeon William F. Bergin.

Bishop is survived by Bergin; daughter Sweeney; a son, Stephen Allen Shoop; and a grandson.

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