Julianne Phillips is an American actress and former model, who said goodbye to the showbiz in the late 90s after appearing in many films and TV shows during the 80s and 90s. Born in Chicago and raised in Oregon, Julianne initially wanted to become a model, and held the dream since her teenage. Her modelling career took off in the early 80s and her enchanting beauty quickly made her one of the topmost models in the fashion and modelling industry. She then started doing TV movies and appeared in films such as ‘Summer Fantasy’ and ‘His Mistress’. It was early 80s and she was mostly playing the role of seductress in her films, without any solid performance or character. She worked until 1997, before she said goodbye to acting for good. Other than her modelling and acting career, she is also known for her marriage to Bruce Springsteen, but the marriage didn’t last very long and this divorce affected Bruce to an extent that he dedicated several songs from his 1987 album ‘Tunnel of Love’ to Julianne. This love affair became the subject of headlines in the entertainment publications back in the days, and Julianne became one of the most controversial figures from the industry.
Childhood & Early Life
Julianne Phillips was born in a middle class family in Chicago on May 6th 1960 to an insurance broker father and a homemaker mother. The family was a deeply religious one and followed Roman church rituals and Julianne being the youngest of six children in the family, was the most loved and pampered among the children, and she maintains that she was ‘not quite in love with the idea of god and religion as a kid’.
Their family moved to Oregon shortly after Julianne’s birth and she was raised up there, finishing her schooling at Lake Oswego High School and higher education from Brooks College.
She wasn’t quite a studious kid and had her interest in all the other things except academics. She was athletic and enjoyed playing sports, while her other siblings studied hard.
She openly expressed her desire to be a model as a teenager and despite her parents’ slight disapproval of her career choice, she moved to Manhattan to make a career in modelling. Back in her mind, there was always this notion that without any connections, it will be extremely difficult to make it as an actor or a model but she thought of giving it a try anyways and as fate would have it, she succeeded.
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She was accepted by Manhattan city with open arms owing to her raw looks and impressive self-confidence level. She started working with Elite Modelling Agency in 1982, while she was 22 and although her early days in the new city were met with financial crisis, she soon started earning USD 2000 a day, which was a great feat for her.
She was frequently mentioned as a ‘perfect ten package’ by the modelling agencies and she worked with almost all of the major modelling houses in New York City. She did modelling for a couple of more years and by then, her popularity had already crossed the New York Circles and she just knew, that modelling is a career which couldn’t be sustained for long and she made a switch to Los Angeles, to try her luck in acting.
Upon moving to New York City, she looked for some work in acting and quickly got a very first stint in form of a music video titled ‘.38 Special’. She got the deal due to her modelling photo-shoots and this had nothing to do with her acting skills. Somehow, she started auditioning for roles in films and TV, with focus more concentrated on TV, as it was an easy entry into the showbiz. And in the year 1984, she got her very first acting role in TV movie ‘Summer Fantasy’ and sometime later, she bagged another movie ‘His Mistress’. Both the roles saw her playing a seductress, and she was thrashed by the critics, as ‘just a showpiece’. -All that criticism didn’t really impact Julianne and she laughed it off. Famous musician Bruce Springsteen saw her in one of the movies and offered her to feature in his music video for the single ‘Glory Days’ and this laid the foundation to a developing attraction between the two and the couple got married in 1985, but the relationship didn’t last very long. Julianne’s career was unaffected by this and she continued working throughout the remaining 80’s in films like ‘Odd Jobs’, ‘Sweet Lies’ and ‘Skin Deep’. The passion and hard work she was putting into her roles was finally showing up and when the casting was open for the TV show ‘Sisters’, she was one of the actors being considered to feature in the leading role.
She was offered the show in 1990 and eventually became one of the most successful of her acting ventures and went on to achieve high ratings among the audiences and is still considered as one of the best shows from the 90’s. In the show, Julianne played the role of highly business minded lady, who doesn’t really care about anything else in her life. This quickly became one of the most successful TV shows of its time and Julianne’s acting skills came out for the first time and her performance received applauses. She worked in the series until its end in 1996. The show ran for four seasons.
Julianne was at the ultimate high of her career, as many more film and TV offers were raining in on her but by then, she was fed up of the industry and after doing two more movies in late 90’s such as ‘Allie and Me’ and ‘Colin Fitz Lives’, she finally said goodbye to the films. The last acting role she was seen in was in a TV movie titled ‘Tidal Waves: No Escape’. Julianne took an indefinite break from acting, but never said goodbye to the show business. She makes appearances here and there and was seen in 2001 in ‘Intimate Portrait’, a biographical documentary on Sela Ward, one of her co-stars from the show ‘Sisters’.
Julianne Phillips made her next public appearance in 2014 for a special edition of Entertainment Weekly where her ‘Sisters’ co-stars accompanied her. The show was later telecasted on NBC.
Julianne Phillips met Bruce Springsteen, a popular musician who was at a prime in his career at that time, in the early 80s, while she was struggling to get herself noticed in the industry. Bruce and she worked on one of Bruce’s music videos and that was the beginning of their love affair, which culminated into marriage in 1985. But things were never right for both of them, as clashes started happening soon after their marriage and media, obsessed with the couple, started documenting every small thing coming out as a result of the differences.
They both parted ways in 1989, after struggling to hold on to the broken marriage for many years. The divorce received as much media coverage as the marriage did, and it was announced that the amount for divorce settlement was a whopping USD 30 million. It was also said that it was Julianne who was unhappy with the marriage and she broke Bruce’s heart, which laid the foundation of the extremely emotional album Bruce came out with in 1987, titled ‘Tunnel of Love’. It was said that most of the songs in the album were dedicated to the doomed love affair between the two.
Bruce’s autobiography titled ‘Born to Run’, however presented a different picture altogether. Bruce wrote that he was consumed with making music and wasn’t ready for a serious relationship and that Julianne made a mistake by falling in love with him.
Julianne never married after Bruce but has been in relationships with actors like Pierce Brosnan and Bryan Kestner. She resides in her mansion in Los Angeles.