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American actress Julie Strain, who starred in Space Girls in Beverly Hills as Queen Ziba and in Heavy Metal 2000 as Julie, has died. She appeared in more than one hundred and thirty movies, mostly such “cinematic classics” as Thirteen Erotic Ghosts, Blood Gnome, Zombiegeddon, Bloodthirsty, and L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach. A former model and a busy actress, she was a popular guest at science fiction conventions.

She was born February 18, 1962 in Concord, California. Her acting career stretched thirty years, from 1990 to 2020. She died January 10, 2021. As with Tanya Roberts, there was some confusion about the announcement of her death. Nearly a year ago to the day, there was a premature and erroneous report of her death. Unfortunately, this time the reports of her death are not exaggerated.

Strain had been reported dead around this time last year, by reliable sources, yet turned out not to be. She actually is deceased this time.

Strain also co-directed and appeared in Vampire Child and Lingerie Kickboxer. She was married from 1995 to 2006 to Kevin Eastman, creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Her final role, in the horror project Green Hook Massacre, is still in production; no release date has been announced yet. They had one son together, Shane Eastman, who survives her.

GameRant posted that she died from complications of dementia. She survived a horseriding accident in the 1980s that gave her early dementia and retrograde amnesia. In November 2018, her boyfriend Dave Gram announced she was suffering from degenerative dementia, a result of her injury years earlier.

Her career began as a Penthouse model: Penthouse Pet of the Month in June, 1991 and Penthouse Pet of the Year for 1993. She was also a popular artist’s model for Heavy Metal Magazine, which her ex-husband edited and published.

Strain, a tall, muscular actress who did her own stunts, said “I am the chick that they call when they want a gun-toting Amazon-bitch-Barbarella-merciless-bitch with a machine gun. Vampires, witches, sorceresses, double agents — that’s what I do and I like to headbutt people in fights and kick them and spit on them and bust them in the balls.” She was hailed as Queen of the B Movies, especially for direct-to-video movies in the late 20th century. Her television work included Baywatch and Captain Jackson.

 GameRant said “Strain was best-known as one of the go-to B-movie stars of the 1990s and 2000s, with parts in dozens of B- and C-list action, comedy, and horror films. She wasn’t exactly a “scream queen,” either; Strain had a distinctive screen presence, standing 6’1″ (about 1.9 meters) tall, and was more frequently cast in action roles or as an antagonist. Any fan of ’90s and ’00s horror, the “direct to video” era, has seen Strain in something, even if they might not know exactly what or where.”

Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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