Obituary: Julie Van Zandt May

On Thursday, Jan. 11, Julie Van Zandt May—wife, mother, daughter, sister and longtime Malibu resident—died in Santa Monica after a brief illness at the age of 88. Julie was born in La Jolla, Calif., to Logan and Lineta Marqua Van Zandt, and soon after, moved with her family to Los Angeles where she attended the Westlake School for Girls. Julie successfully pursued an acting career for many years in Hollywood, followed by later acclaim as a landscape artist, sport fishing enthusiast and all-around great cook. Julie loved to fish and held the Guinness World record for the biggest Needlefish ever caught. Painting became her passion soon after she and her husband, Fred, moved to Malibu in 1966. They later founded the Malibu Art Festival and she was an active member of the Malibu Art Association. Her large mural depicting the Chumash Indians hangs in the Malibu Lagoon Museum. She and Fred were awarded Malibu Co-Citizens of the year in 1976. In 2005, she received a commendation from the City of Malibu for her outstanding contributions to the community through her art and for representing Malibu’s ideals in a positive manner.

Julie was married to noted television director Richard L. Bare of “Green Acres” and “Twilight Zone” fame from 1951 to 1957. In 1966, she married Frederick C. May, well-known Malibu businessman and sportsman, and founding president of the Malibu Lagoon Museum. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Fred; her daughter Cathryn Alpert; her sister Helen Van Zandt; and her brother Jack Van Zandt. Julie is survived by her son Jon Bare; stepdaughters Judy May and Laurie May Canty; stepson Fred May Jr; and 10 grandchildren.

“Julie loved to sing, paint, fish, entertain and laugh,” a loved one said. “We will miss her dearly in every role.”

Memorial donations in memory of Julie can be made to the Malibu Adamson House Foundation ( or to the Malibu Art Association.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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