Julie London (September 26, 1926 – October 18, 2000) was an American singer and film and television actress, whose career spanned five decades of television. She was noted for her smoky, sensual husky voice and languid demeanor. She released 32 albums of pop and jazz standards during the 1950's and 1960's, with her signature song being the classic "Cry Me a River", which she introduced in 1955. She had also appeared as a guest on several talk shows and as a panelist on numerous game shows.
London began singing (under the name Gayle Peck) in public in her teens before appearing in film. She was discovered by talent agent Sue Carol (wife of actor Alan Ladd), while working as an elevator operator. Her early film career did not include any singing roles.
London recorded 32 albums in a career that began in 1955 with a live performance at the 881 Club in Los Angeles. Billboard named her the most popular female vocalist for 1955, 1956, and 1957. She was the subject of a 1957 Life cover article in which she was quoted as saying, "It's only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of over-smoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate."
London's début recordings were for the Bethlehem Records label. While shopping for a record deal, she recorded four tracks that would later be included on the compilation album Bethlehem's Girlfriends in 1955. Bobby Troup backed London on the album. London recorded the standards "Don't Worry About Me", "Motherless Child", "A Foggy Day", and "You're Blasé".
London's most famous single, "Cry Me a River", was written by her high-school classmate Arthur Hamilton and produced by Troup. The recording became a million-seller after its release in December 1955, and also sold on reissue in April 1983 from the attention brought by a Mari Wilson cover. London performed the song in the film The Girl Can't Help It (1956), and her recording gained later attention in the films Passion of Mind (2000) and V for Vendetta (2006). The song "Yummy Yummy Yummy" was featured on the HBO television series Six Feet Under and appears on its soundtrack album. London's "Must Be Catchin'" was featured in the 2011 premiere episode of the ABC series Pan Am. Her last recording was "My Funny Valentine" for the soundtrack of the Burt Reynolds film Sharky's Machine (1981).