From the archives: An article on Julia Lockwood

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The Sydney Morning Herald, 1960.

In England, complete with a newly remodeled nose-“”it gives me more confidence”- and teeth filed level-“”it gives me a better smile,” young film actress Julia Lockwood stepped into the last of her teen years transformed from a pretty miss into a glamorous, sophisticated stage star.

The rapid transition has been so successful that “Toots,” as she has been called from childhood, may soon be on her way to Hollywood. Maxwell Arnow, the same man who discovered Kim Novak, flew to London to search for new faces recently and one of the actresses he singled out was the young Miss Lockwood.

The promise of a film test by Columbia Pictures that resulted from the interviews is responsible for the “new look” with which she is emerging. As well as the new nose and filed teeth, there’s a shoulder length, curly golden wig that’s filling in until her own pale blondy straight hair has reached the length she wants.

Soon-when she’s had her tonsils removed-she’ll be taking the giant step towards independence by moving into a bachelor-girl flat in London’s Dolphin Square. “I thought it was time to get away from home,” she explained.

All this artificiality and independence seems out of character for a girl described by cynical show-page reporters as: “Absolutely adorable-shining, wholesome and sweet.”

But, although for the sake of career the “new look” Julia Lockwood resembles the type of screen beauty seen all too often in Hollywood pictures, people who know her-ranging from the callboy on the film set to her teenage friends-all day: “Everyone loves her. Her sincerity and youthful charm remain un-spoilt.”

“She has always been a very homey child,” says Miss Hettie Hollick, her nanny since she was three months old. “When she was cross, the worst thing she could do was not to say goodbye to me as she went out. But she would always come back and make it up.”

“She has all the teenage enthusiasms,” said a friend. “She is a personality in the theatre. Yet she’s as wild about Cliff Richards and cha-cha as all the other kids.”

She is a born organiser and the “Peter Pan” company during its stage run in London a few months ago (Julia played Peter Pan) had a saying in an emergency: “have no fear, Toots is ‘ere.”

Charming to her elders, popular with the children, and one of the most eligible young women about town, Julia at the moment has her heart set very firmly on a career. “When I’m not working I get bored,” she says. “I don’t expect to marry until I’m at least 25.”

Her romantic crush at the moment is Cary Grant. “I think he has a wonderful face,” she says. “But I doubt if I shall marry an actor. I prefer boys who are not in show business. With young actors you never know whether they’re acting or not. They’re always over confident. Other boys are more sincere.”

An acting career was mapped out for Julia when, at the age of five, she was enrolled in a theatrical school. From then on, she’s been knee-deep in a show business atmosphere. Her move into the limelight was a foregone conclusion. “I wouldn’t have minded being a children’s nurse,” Julia says. “I love children. When I marry I shall have a large family. I don’t believe in raising an only child.” An only child herself, “I’ve been pretty lonely at times,” she says.

“My parents parted when I was about five and were divorced when I was eight. I spent a great deal of time being looked after by Nanny. I think a girl needs a father, even more than she needs a mother,” she added, rather surprisingly, in view of the fact that her actress mother, Margaret Lockwood, has probably done much to guide her pretty daughter along an acknowledged tricky course.

Julia has a few memories of her mother’s famous films-including daring pictures like The Wicked lady. “Mummy made so many pictures that I haven’t seen more than a few of them,” she says. “My earliest memory is being carried out screaming in the middle of one of her films because I was frightened when I saw someone strike her on the screen.”

For that reason, most of her acting talents were learned at school rather than from her mother. And probably for that reason too, Margaret Lockwood still remains her daughter’s best friend. “She sits on my bed sometimes till four in the morning,” says her mother. “She tells me what she’s been doing, what her friends are doing and what the party was like. Toots is in love with people and life itself. She gives a lot. And that is why she gets such a lot back.”

 

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