Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
The Wonder Years, Eerie, Indiana, Married...With Children
Currently Known For:
1988 - 2001
If you grew up watching “The Wonder Years”, there’s a good chance that Winnie Cooper was one of your favorite characters. Seeing her move away to another school to begin the fourth season was tough for a lot of fans that were rooting for her and Kevin Arnold. In her absence, a new character was put into place to serve as the potential love interest, and that was Madeline Adams, who was played by Julie Condra. Though the relationship between Kevin and Madeline didn’t last long, it was certainly a memorable storyline.
As for Condra, she was an actress that already had experience in the years leading up to her role in “The Wonder Years”. She was born in Ballinger, Texas on December 1, 1970, and got her first taste of acting in 1982 with “Wrong is Right”. Then, in her teenage years, Condra started to focus more on modeling before getting involved with acting. She also appeared in a handful of commercials during the 1980s.
Condra made her acting debut at 16 years old when she appeared in an episode of “Who’s the Boss?” in 1987 and later that year had a guest spot in “Valerie’s Family”. Throughout the rest of the 1980s, Condra had similar guest roles in shows such as “The Tracey Ullman Show” and “Aaron’s Way”, before she landed her first regular gig.
That would come in the form of the soap opera “Santa Barbara”, which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1993. Condra held a spot on the series from 1989 to 1990, playing the part of Emily DiNapoli Hughes for nearly 60 episodes. Many young actors find their first regular work while appearing on soap operas, and Condra is among the many. During the same time, she’d appear on “Evening Shade” and “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” to add to her resume.
In the fourth season of “The Wonder Years”, Condra would take on the role of Madeline Adams after she was finished with “Santa Barbara”. She made her debut in the episode “Ninth Grade Man” in which the main character Kevin (Fred Savage) meets her during the first day of high school. It was sort of a replacement for the character of Winnie Cooper, who had transferred to a different school.
Condra would play the role for three more episodes, including “It’s a Mad, Mad, Madeline World”, and finished up her time with “Heartbreak” and “Denial”. The storyline caused some fans to actually prefer Condra’s character compared to Danica McKellar’s Winnie Cooper. However, Condra would leave “The Wonder Years”, opting instead to switch over to NBC so she could star in the series “Eerie, Indiana” on a more full-time basis.
On the series, Condra played the main character’s older sister Syndi, who frequently followed the police around to try and be a reporter. The series would not last long, however, as “Eerie, Indiana” would be cancelled after its first season on Fox, airing just 19 episodes. Afterward, Condra would make guest appearances on shows such as “Class of ‘95”, “Weird Science” and “Married…With Children”.
Though she would continue to work in the later half of the 1990s, Condra hadn’t been quite as busy as she had been before. After she starred in the 1995 film “Crying Freeman”, Condra formed a relationship with co-star Mark Dacascos, who is known for his roles on shows like “Hawaii Five-0” and movies such as “Cradle 2 the Grave”. The couple has now been married for 20 years, and have three children together. Dacascos said that his role in the film was the most important as he got to meet Condra. “I need to thank (director Christophe Gans) and that movie for my wonderful wife and our three children” he said.
Before she was married to Dacascos, Condra had been in a relationship with Brandon Douglas. If that name sounds familiar, Douglas had been an actor himself, who was most known for his role in “Falcon Crest” during the late 1980s, and followed it up with roles in shows like “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and “21 Jump Street”. The couple was married in 1992, and divorced in 1995. While married, the two did not have any children together.
Since the new millennium started, Condra has only made a handful of appearances. Most recently, she was featured in the 2005 movie “Final Approach” that was released directly to video, and before that was in “Road to Redemption” and “Beautiful”. It appears that family life has become more of the focus for Condra over the past decade, though you can never rule out a return to acting, especially if a “Wonder Years” reunion ever comes calling. For now, she’s happy with living far away from the mainland in Hawaii. After nearly two decades on screen, many of us would want to get far away from the action, as well.