Julia Child

Julia Child

Highest Rated: 78% Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2013)

Lowest Rated: 38% We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993)

Birthday: Aug 15, 1912

Birthplace: Pasadena, California, USA

A (literally) larger-than-life and warmly eccentric presence in American homes from the early 1960s until the 1990s, Julia Child helped to demystify cooking for millions of viewers through her Emmy-winning series, "The French Chef" (PBS, 1963-1973) and countless cookbooks, which emphasized good taste and viewed mistakes as "teachable moments." Born Julia Carolyn McWilliams on August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, California, she was the daughter of financier John McWilliams, Jr., and paper heiress Julia Weston, whose father, Byron Curtis Weston, was the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. A natural athlete who stood 6'2" by the time she attended the Katherine Branson School, she earned a degree in history from Smith College in 1934 and later worked as a copywriter for the advertising department of W. & J. Sloane. Her height proved prohibitive for her interest in joining the Women's Army Corps during World War II, but she worked as a researcher for General William J. Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Service (OSS). While working for the Office in Kunming, China, she met fellow OSS employee Paul Cushing Child, whom she would marry in 1946. The couple relocated to Paris, France in 1948, where he worked with the United States Information Agency. Child studied cooking at the famed Cordon Bleu and later, under chef Max Bugnard before joining Le Cercle des Gormettes, an exclusive cooking club for women in Paris. Two of its members, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, were writing a French cookbook for American readers, and proposed to Child that she join them to help broaden its appeal for aspiring Stateside chefs. The trio also began L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes ("The School of the Three Gourmands"), an informal cooking class for American women which took place in Child's kitchen in Paris; they also traveled throughout Europe collecting and testing recipes, which Child would translate into English. The trio completed the work and published "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in 1961, which was an immediate best-seller. Lauded for making the complex art of French cuisine comprehensible to even amateur chefs, it helped to launch Child's eventual media career. She penned columns for The Boston Globe and in 1962, began appearing on "The French Chef," a charmingly low-key cooking show in which she patiently guided the viewer through an array of French dishes. Audiences were charmed by Child's unique voice and boundless good cheer, and heartened by the fact that she made mistakes in the process of creating her dishes, which were preserved as part of the program by virtue of its live-to-videotape production. "The French Chef" earned Child Peabody and Emmy Awards in 1965 and 1966, respectively, but more importantly, endeared her to a generation of viewers, especially women, who appreciated her exuberance and fondness for wine and butter in her creations. When the series ran its course in 1973, Child moved on other cooking programs, including "Julia Child & Company" (PBS, 1978) while also appearing as a frequent guest on afternoon primetime and talk show programming; she also continued to write cookbooks, including "Julia Child and More Company" (1979), which won a National Book Award. Child also helped to launch the American Institute of Wine and Food, a non-profit dedicated to teaching others to appreciate good food and drink, in 1981, and published what she considered to be her defining book series, "How to Cook," in 1989. Child remained remarkably active into her sixth and seventh decades, teaming with fellow chef Jacques Pepin for several books and television series, and launching the Julia Child Foundation, which provided grants to gastronomy-related projects, in 1995. Her long career in the service of good food was honored on several occasions, most notably the French Legion of Honour in 2000 and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003. Child began writing her autobiography, "My Life in France," in 2003 with the help of her grandnephew, Alex Prud'homme; Child succumbed to kidney failure at the age of 91 at her home in Montecito, California on August 12, 2004. "My Life in France" was published in 2006. She was the subject of a motion picture, "Julie & Julie" (2009), which was inspired by a blog written by Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams), who attempted to make all of the 524 recipes printed in Child's cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (1961) in a single year. Child was played by Meryl Streep, who received an Oscar nomination for her performance, while Stanley Tucci played Paul Child.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
78% 83% Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon Herself (archive footage) (Character) $211.8K 2013
38% 49% We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story Dr. Bleeb (Voice) $8.6M 1993

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs Host 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Julia Child: Cooking With Master Chefs Host 1993-1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet Parker Lewis Unknown (Guest Star) 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet The French Chef Host 1971-1973 1963-1966

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