In the world of television, certain actors leave an indelible mark with their performances, and Julie Cobb is one such talent. Best known for her role in the popular 80s sitcom ‘Charles in Charge,’ Cobb’s portrayal of the character enchanted viewers and made her a household name. But since her time on the show, fans have often wondered: what ever happened to Julie Cobb?
Early Life and Background:
Julie Cobb, born on May 29, 1947, hails from a lineage that has been part of the Hollywood fabric for generations. She is the daughter of the legendary actor Lee J. Cobb, renowned for his role as Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman,” and actress Helen Beverley. Julie’s inclination towards acting was fueled by the environment she grew up in, and she embraced the stage and camera early in her life.
As a student at Beverly Hills High School, Julie was immersed in theater alongside notable classmates like Richard Dreyfuss and Albert Brooks. Her zeal for acting guided her to San Francisco State University. However, the allure of the professional stage and screen was too potent, and she decided to leave college to embark on a career in Los Angeles.
Julie Cobb made her debut on the television series “Star Trek” in 1968. She portrayed Leslie Thompson, and while credited simply as “Yeoman,” and made a memorable appearance in the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series in an episode titled “By Any Other Name.” Cobb would have the distinction of being the only female redshirt to die in the original Star Trek series
She would go on to quickly made a mark in the 1970s and early 1980s with a variety of roles in TV series such as “The Brady Bunch,” “Gunsmoke,” and “Knots Landing,” as well as TV movies including “The Second Coming of Suzanne” and “State Fair.”
All these roles cemented Julie Cobb’s status as a versatile actress and paved the way for her role in “Charles in Charge” which began in 1984 and eventually became one of the defining roles of her career.
Charles in Charge
Cobb is perhaps best known for her role as Margaret ‘Maggie’ Knowland Kanisky in the popular sitcom “Charles in Charge,” which ran from 1984 to 1990. She would star in the show alongside, April Lerman, Michael Pearlman, Jennifer Runyon, Ellen Travolta and Jonathan Ward.
She played this role in the first season of the series, which aired in 1984-1985. Maggie was one of the initial characters before the show went through a retooling after the first season, changing the family that Charles was in charge of.
Charles in Charge replaced its cast after the first season due to changes in the show’s production and network circumstances. The show initially aired on CBS during the 1984-1985 season but was cancelled by the network after the first season due to low ratings.
However, the series was revived through first-run syndication, meaning it was sold directly to local stations rather than airing on a network. This change happened in 1987, two years after the initial cancellation. The producers of “Charles in Charge” decided to retool the show with the intention of attracting a broader audience.
Scott Baio, who played the title character Charles, remained as the central character. The setting remained the same, but the story was modified to have Charles now working for a different family, the Powells, instead of the Pembroke family he worked for in the first season. This change allowed for fresh storylines and new character dynamics, which the producers hoped would make the show more appealing in syndication.
The cast change and shift in focus ultimately proved successful, as “Charles in Charge” continued for an additional four seasons in syndication, concluding in 1990.
After her appearance in “Charles in Charge,” Julie Cobb continued to have a diverse and active acting career. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, she took on numerous television roles in popular series such as “Magnum, P.I.,” “Family Ties,” “Designing Women,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and “Home Improvement.”
She also appeared in the film “Defending Your Life” in 1991. Into the 2000s, she had roles in TV series like “Judging Amy” and “ER.” Her latest credits include playing Marie Woods in the movie “Jelly” (2010) and appearing as Grandma in the short film “Almost Midnight” (2015).
What is Julie Cobb doing now?
Today, Cobb continues to act and audition, but has shifted her focus towards writing and directing. She wrote and directed a short film called “Night Vet,” which takes place in an all-night animal hospital and stars her ex-husband, James Cromwell. The film is available on YouTube and is something she is quite proud of. Cobb has also expressed a desire to continue directing, particularly in theater.
Julie’s personal life has seen its fair share of ups and downs. She was married to actor Victor French from 1976 to 1978, and they have a daughter, actress Jessica Stone. Later, she married James Cromwell in 1986, and the couple stayed together till 2005.
Her daughter, Rosemary Morgan, continued in the family business as an actress and would debut as an actress in Star Trek: Voyager as the young terrorist ‘Piri.’ She would have a couple more small roles before retiring and becoming a practicing attorney.