June 25, 2022

Creston native with ties to TV and music dies at 65

Creston native Julee Cruise, who had a varied career in music and entertainment, died June 9 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, according to a Facebook post by her husband Edward Grinnan. She was 65.

Julee Ann Cruise was born Dec. 1, 1956. Her father was a dentist and an amateur pilot. Cruise would eventually acquire her own pilot’s license and had a plane given to her by her father. According to her Facebook page, she graduated Creston High in 1975.

According to the Washington Post, Cruise had lupus for many years, lost her hair and “had the bones of an 85-year-old woman at 33,” she said.

Grinnan, who she married in 1988, is editor in chief of the nonprofit Guideposts.

“My dad used to take us up to the Arctic Circle in his plane when I was little,” Cruise told Pitchfork. “He died when he was 51. That night he passed, I flew by myself up to Minneapolis in my Piper Cub that Dad gave me. We have our own great graveyard there.”

Cruise also was a late replacement for the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” in May 1990. Original music guest Sinnead O’Connor refused to be on the same episode with show host Andrew Dice Clay, a comedian known for being offensive and sexist.

Cruise is arguably best known for her work with the 1990s television show “Twin Peaks” with her song “Falling.” The song went as high at #11 in the charts.

Cruise also contributed to the party, pop band B-52′s in 1992 and 1993. She filled in for original band singer Cindy Wilson who took time off for family.

It was “the happiest time of her performing life,” Grinnan included on Facebook. “She will be forever grateful to them. When she first stepped up to the mic with Fred [Schneider] and Kate she said it was like joining the Beatles. She will love them always and never forget their travels together around the world.”

Messages for the B-52′s were not returned.

Having attended actings school, Cruise played Petra in “A Little Night Music” in Wichita in the early 1980s, and Janis Joplin in the musical “Beehive.” In 2003, she played artist Andy Warhol and other characters in the musical “Radiant Baby” in New York.

She majored in French horn performance at Drake University in Des Moines. After graduating, she acted in theater in Minneapolis.

She was uncomfortable with being considered a celebrity and public performances. She had to contend with stalkers and hated when “Twin Peaks” fans told her she was the soundtrack of their life.

“I don’t want that responsibility,” she told Pitchfork in 2018.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.