Producer Dan Guntzelman told People in a 1989 article that Kirk’s character was “ripe for a lady of substance.” He acknowleged he “wasn’t fond of the publicity because we’re committed to a Midwest perspective on our show,” but admitted, “Despite all this, using Julie is not stretching it that much. If you start knocking out actresses who have appeared in the buff, there will be a lot of all-male shows on the air.”
Born in Honolulu, Julie grew up the step-daughter of a Marine and she lived all over the world. She spent her high school years in Missouri and Texas. Julie said she entered numerous beauty pageants, and although she never won, she took home many Miss Photogenic awards.
In 1984 when Playboy approached her to appear in a “Girls of Texas” pictorial, her parents originally told her that she wasn’t allowed to pose for the magazine. “But then they said I was old enough to make my own decisions and that this would give me some money that they couldn’t.”
Julie graced two Playboy covers in 1985 and 1986, and was named the Playmate of the Month in February 1986, appearing as the magazine’s centerfold. She eventually appeared on the cover of Playboy four times.