Julie Gentry

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Julie Oliver in 1992

Julie Oliver Gentry (born January 23, 1973 in Birmingham) is the vice president of the College Choice Foundation, and a former cast member for the inaugural season of MTV's influential reality television series, The Real World.

Julie was the last of seven children born to Jack and Dorothy Wainwright Oliver. She appeared in the first season of the series, filmed in New York City in 1992. The series focuses on placing seven strangers in a house and watching what happens. The original biographical blurb about Julie emphasized her youth and inexperience with the "Real World" outside Alabama. When they first met the other cast members assumed she would be a close-minded racist. She and fellow cast member Kevin Powell, a Black journalist, engaged in a memorable debate about racism in the context of the Rodney King riots happening at the time in Los Angeles, and she demonstrated a willingness to listen and learn. Julie's tentative romance with Eric Nies was also highlighted in the show.

The Real World's first season set the stage for many other American reality television series. Julie returned to Birmingham after the show, and married Joshua Gentry, now managing partner of Little Donkey restaurant, in 1998. They have two children; Noah and Phoebe. She is active with Homewood's Community Garden and the College Choice Foundation.

The original program aired for 32 seasons on MTV. A 33rd season premiered on the "Facebook Watch" service in 2019. Gentry has appeared on Real World reunion specials, but has not participated in "challenge" shows, where former cast members compete for cash and prizes. Gentry did return for a 2021 miniseries, "The Real World Homecoming: New York", which aired on the Paramount+/CBS All Access streaming service.

External links


  • "John W. (Jack) Oliver Jr." Obituary (June 18, 2008) The Birmingham News
  • Colurso, Mary (March 4, 2021) "Julie Oliver Gentry of ‘Real World’ fame: ‘I don’t really love watching myself on TV’." The Birmingham News
  • Blake, Meredith (April 12, 2021) "Julie and Kevin’s 1992 ‘Real World’ Rodney King debate was ‘most famous argument’ in reality TV." Los Angeles Times/Tribune Media Services