It was Julie McCullough who was dethroned in 1989 after organizers discovered she’d been Playboy’s Playmate of Month for February 1986. (A former Jacksonville, N.C., resident and a member of a Marine family, McCullough had posed for the centerfold in parts of the Marine dress uniform.) She was replaced for the 1989 Azalea Festival by Rebeca Arthur of ABC’s “Perfect Strangers.”
McCullough played “Julie Costello” on ABC’s “Growing Pains.”
Genie Francis, famed as Laura on “General Hospital” was an Azalea Festival guest in 1983 but never the queen. Her stay in Wilmington was a little rocky; she was heard to complain that she didn’t like barbecue, and in a 1985 interview, she listed the Azalea Festival as the worst job of her career, claiming that overeager Port City fans were pounding on her hotel room door at 6 in the morning for autographs.
Date posted: November 8, 2010
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