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"Julie & Julia" Portrays Bennington Alumnae on the Big Screen

Aug 18, 2009
Author and longtime Knopf editor Judith Jones '45, who helped launch Julia Child's career, and the late Dorothy Cousins '39, Child's sister, are both portrayed in Julie & Julia, a new movie based on the cooking icon's life.

Starring Meryl Streep, the film chronicles the intersecting lives of Child and Julie Powell, a blogger who found fame by making all 524 recipes in Child's classic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking—which Jones had published in 1961 before becoming the chef's lifelong friend and editor. Jones is portrayed by the Tony Award–nominated actress Erin Dilly, while Cousins, Child's younger sister, is played by Jane Lynch.

Also involved in the film were alumni Brooks Ashmanskas '91, who played the part of Powell's boss, and Child's great neice Julia Prud'homme '87, who played a small role as a bridge teacher. 

In a recent Q&A in The Boston Globe, Jones said, "The response to this film makes me feel that more people are going to again discover the fun of cooking at home. You don't do nonsense—dehydrating and rehydrating, all that kind of stuff—at home. You just do good cooking. Soigné, as Julia would say."

A Knopf editor for more than 50 years, Jones was also responsible for bringing Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl to America, and was the longtime editor of John Updike. Now 85 years old, Jones continues to work at Knopf, and has a new book due out in September entitled The Pleasures of Cooking for One.

Click to read recent features on Jones in the Boston Herald and Vancouver Sun.