Julia Graham & Her Heartbreaking Suicide

Julia Graham

Julia Graham was a promising 1930s starlet who committed suicide when she as twenty

She was born Juliann Graham February 15, 1915 in Sistersville, West Virginia. Her father, Harry Graham, worked for the state's road commission. From a very young age she dreamed of being a movie star. Julia starred in several local plays and sang in her church's choir. After graduating from high school in 1933 she started working in a library. When she had saved a little money she moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. Shortly after arriving a man pretending to be a casting agent assaulted her. She spent several months trying to find work but didn't get any acting roles. Julia became very depressed and in March of 1934 she attempted suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. Producer Earl Carroll heard about her suicide attempt and offered to give her a screen test. It was a success and she was given a bit part in the 1934 musical Murder At The Vanities.

Julia GrahamJulia Graham Gracie Allen George Burns
                                                      With Gracie Allen and George Burns

She also appeared in the films Love In Bloom and The Crusades directed by Cecil B. Demille. In an interview she said "Had I known what faced an inexperienced girl with ideas of her own dramatic ability in Hollywood I would never have left home without being better fortified for the battle." Julia still struggled with depression and she attempted suicide a second time in the Fall of 1934. Then she began having an affair with Benjamin F. Reynolds, a married cameraman. On July 15, 1935 she was staying overnight at Benjamin's apartment. After he fell asleep she committed suicide by shooting herself in the head with his gun. She was only twenty years old. A note was found that said "Soon I shall die I can't live but I'm too confused." Julia was buried in her hometown of Sistersville, West Virginia.

Julia GrahamJulia Graham Suicide

Julia Graham Suicide
Benjamin Reynolds (left) shows a policeman the spot where he found Julia's body