Julie Powell, the food writer known for her Julia Child recipe blog, has died. She was 49.
Her husband, Eric Powell, confirmed the news to The New York Times on Tuesday, November 1, adding that his wife died of cardiac arrest on October 26 at their home in Olivebridge, New York.
Julie was best known as the creator of the “Julie/Julia Project,” which she started in 2002. The blog chronicled her attempt to cook all of the recipes in Julia Child’s classic book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In 2005, she adapted her work into a book titled Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.
The memoir was later adapted into the 2009 film Julie & Julia, which was directed by Nora Ephron. Amy Adams played Julie, while Meryl Streep took on the role of Child. The movie was nominated for a number of awards, with Streep, 73, earning an Oscar nod for best actress.
The same year that the film hit theaters, Julie published her second book, Cleaving: A Book of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession. The memoir was about her time learning how to butcher meat as well as the near-implosion of her marriage following her affair with a man she referred to as D.
“I find writing about myself easy. I have no problem cracking open my chest and saying, ‘Here, read about all of my nasty stuff.’ It doesn’t bother me,” she said during a December 2009 interview with Powell’s bookstore. “Eric and I talked long and hard about this, and I could have never published the book if he had not given his blessing. It was a courageous, generous thing for him to understand how important writing this book was for me, and in exchange for that generosity I have to be responsible for him.”
Child, who died in 2004, never got to see Julie & Julia, but the real Julie said that she appreciated Adams’ interpretation of her character — even if her personality was a bit different.
“The marriage scenes between her and Chris Messina, who plays my husband, feel really authentic, very much the way we talk to one another and just are together,” Julie told the Orlando Sentinel in August 2009. “And she gets the hysteria really well. She’s much nicer than me, of course. Read the book after seeing the movie and you will be shocked. She plays these sweet roles and I, to say the least, am not sweet! I’m a complainer. But now, with my life these days, I have nothing to complain about!”
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