Facts About Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews has played so many iconic roles from Maria in the Sound of Music to the Queen in Princess Diaries. She has been in the memorable films of our childhood and it’s not surprising that she’s still incredibly relevant until today. Now, let’s get to know more about her fascinating life, which has not been drama-free! 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Theo Wargo | Dame Julie Andrews arrives to be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement during the 76th Venice Film Festival


NAMED AFTER GRANDMA

Julie Andrew’s mother, Barbara, was an aspiring pianist, but she was forced to give up on her dreams when both of her parents were gone when she was just 18. Julie says that she remembers how intense the grief of her mom over the death of her grandparents was. 

Image Credits: Corbis via Getty Images/Herbert Dorfman | Julie Andrews Circa 1960

Her mother rarely talks about them, but her love for Julie’s grandmother was clearly shown when she named her daughter after her.  Barbara’s mom is named Julia, so she gave her daughter the name “Julie” to remember the woman that she would miss eternally. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Franco Origlia | Dame Julie Andrews attends the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement photocall


EARLIEST MEMORY, FIRST WORD

When the Mary Poppins star was asked about the earliest memory that she can still recall, she reminisced the time when she was sitting on her mother’s lap in the car, and her father pulls up to their house in Walton. That time, they told her, she said her first word which was “home”. How sweet?! 

Image Credits: Getty Images | A young Julie Andrews Writing Music on Wall


CHILDHOOD SURVIVOR

Though people would see her and her cheerful disposition every time that she is interviewed, Julie Andrews’ childhood life is not that bright. Yes, she had fond memories of her father, but then, her mother remarried Ted Andrews, that’s the start of her difficult life. 

Image Credits: Getty Images | Mrs. Andrews gives young Julie Piano Lessons

"My mother was terribly important to me, and I know how much I yearned for her in my youth...but I don't think I truly trusted her," she shared in her memoir called Home. It is said that her mother had issues with controlling her vices, and her stepfather had put her in dangerous situations more than once.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Corbis via Getty Images/Hulton-Deutsch Collection//Hulton-Deutsch | A young Julie Andrews performs with the singing puppet Archie Andrews.


LET’S START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING

Andrews has a four-octave vocal range, and her talent is just unstoppable. That’s one of the reasons why she became a breadwinner for the family at a young age. She also helped raise her younger siblings. Right from the start, the iconic woman was already performing in any place that she can sing. Even on the streets. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Mondadori via Getty Images | Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady

At the age of 11, she already made her stage debut for a Fleet Street Club luncheon in London. She was then chosen to perform at the Royal Command Variety Performance in 1951, she was just 13. By 1954, she was already a fixture in London's theater scene for her skills in song, dance, and acting.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Keystone | Julie Andrews as a child singer, performing on stage at the Palladium during a Royal Command Performance in 1948


THE FIRST ELIZA DOOLITTLE

Even though people would usually remember Aubrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, it’s actually Julie that first brought her to life. In the same year that she has placed herself on the Broadway scene, she made her American stage debut in The Boy Friend, thanks to the British company that she joined. After that, she landed the role of Eliza.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Mirrorpix/Marshall | Julie Andrews, 10th December 1951

Doolittle is the character in the musical My Fair Lady. It became a hit and Julie said that she did all of her learning on that show. She called it an "endurance test," and "three-and-a-half years of just shattering your vocal cords together.” Even Hepburn was surprised that Andrews did not get the role for the film adaptation. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Hulton Archive | Julie Andrews as Gertrude Lawrence in a scene from the musical biopic 'Star', directed by Robert Wise, 1968.


CLASSIC CINDERELLA

After her big role in the My Fair Lady stage, Andrews then tried her luck on television by playing the iconic role of Cinderella in Rodgers and Hammerstein's live television production of the fairytale. It was reportedly watched by 100 million viewers. Just imagine, 100 million people knew her when she’s just 22 years old!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Corbis via Getty Images/Herbert Dorfman | Julie Andrews in 1960


FIRST PRINCE CHARMING CAME

In 1959, Andrews tied the knot with the set production designer, Tony Walton, in a church ceremony. They met while they both were filming Humpty Dumpty. She wore a stunning lace gown on that beautiful day. In 1962, they welcomed their baby, Emma, who is now 57 years old and is also an accomplished actress in her own right. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Mirrorpix/Arthur Sidey | The wedding of Julie Andrews and Tony Walton at St Mary Oatlands Church, Weybridge, Surrey, 10th May 1959


DISNEY WAITED FOR HER

Andrews and Walton then returned to their work on the stage in 1960 for the production of Camelot. While she was still performing in the musical, Disney came to her and offered her the role of Mary Poppins. She really wanted to take the role, but then she was three months pregnant at the time and she disclosed it to Disney. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Condé Nast via Getty Images/Bert Stern | Julie Andrews poses for Vogue in 1965

Well, she was really meant for the role because Disney did not hesitate to tell her that they’ll wait. Six months later, after Andrews gave birth to her daughter, Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, called her and said “You're much too pretty [for the part], of course, but you've got the nose for it!”. That’s it. She made history. 

Image Credits: Getty Images | Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins


GLOBE AND OSCARS

No one can deny the talents that Andrews possesses that she even got prestigious awards for the characters that she played. She won the Golden Globe for the Best Actress category, the same as Hepburn, for My Fair Lady, and she won the Oscar for her role in Mary Poppins.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Keystone | Julie Andrews, with the Academy Award she won for 'Mary Poppins', her film debut


HAVE YOU EVER SOLVED A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA?

Well, Julie did get the role of Maria in The Sound of Music, but that does not mean that because she was already an award-winning star, it was just handed to her. She had a tough competition for that opportunity for Doris Day and Grace Kelly were also up for the challenge. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Photoshot | Julie Andrews, circa 1967


THE ONLY ACADEMY AWARD TO DATE

It was in 1965 that Julie Andrews got her first and only Academy Award to date. It is for the best actress category and her role in Mary Poppins earned it for her. She has been nominated twice for the said award after that, but she still has not had the chance to win again. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Corbis via Getty Images/Herbert Dorfman | Julie Andrews circa 1960


FRAULEIN MARIA WINS THE GLOBE

Not only did The Sound of Music reached many audiences all around the world but Julie literally received another Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. That same year she was also nominated once again on the Oscars for the same category. 

Image Credits: Getty Images | Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music


1967: A MILESTONE AND A BREAK-UP

On this year, Julie played Millie Dillmount in the Academy Award-winning film Thoroughly Modern Millie, and she starred alongside Mary Tyler Moore and Dorothy Brown. It is just unfortunate that this year is also the fallout of her marriage with Tony and they separated. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Daily Express/Dove | Julie Andrews pictured with her husband Tony Walton, 1963

“The marriage was over, and my head was so full of clutter and garbage," the actress revealed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "Believe it or not, it was [filmmaker] Mike Nichols who really tipped me into wanting to go to therapy." That was the end of her first marriage, but she did move on after some years. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/Andrew Lipovsky | Julie Andrews on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon


LOVE IS SWEETER THE SECOND TIME AROUND

A year after the split, Julie had the chance to work with Director Blake Edwards on the set of Darling Lili, and little did she know that it would be the man that will make her open her heart again. They did not waste time and by 1969, they were married. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Daily Express/Larry Ellis | Julie Andrews with her husband, American filmmaker Blake Edwards, 1973

They opted for a small private ceremony as it was a second marriage for both of them. They adopted two daughters. Amy in 1974 and Joana in 1975. The couple really stood the test of time for they were married for 41 years. The only thing that parted them was Blake’s death at the age of 88. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Kypros | Julie Andrews with her husband Blake Edwards at a British Olympic Association gala, 1984


FACTS ABOUT HER HUSBAND

For those who don’t know, Julie Andrew’s husband was the creator of the famous Pink Panther films and he also directed Breakfast at Tiffany's. He was an actor, just like her, and later a writer. Not only that, he is famously known for his comedies and musicals. What a perfect partnership they made! Surely, they’re one of the power couples. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Star Tribune via Getty Images/DAVID BREWSTER | Julie Andrews and husband Blake Edwards gathered with others for a social hour at the Ordway Music Theatre


THE DAME AND THE QUEEN

In 1977, Julie got the chance to talk to Queen Elizabeth II while attending the Silver Jubilee Royal Variety Gala in 1977. It can also be noted that she already sang for the young Elizabeth back when she’s just 13. Their meeting didn’t end in 1977, but it happened again in 2000, just before she played the Queen of Genovia.

Image Credits: Getty Images/WireImage/Don Arnold | Dame Julie Andrews poses during a mdeia call for the Australian production of My Fair Lady at Sydney Opera House

She received her damehood from the Queen for her services to performing arts. What a way to be recognized for her talents! Well, let’s just add here that she also now has her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The dame is just unstoppable. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Rich Fury | Julie Andrews speaks at Mancini Delivered - A Musical Tribute To Ginny And Henry Mancini at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on April 1, 2017


ALMOST LOST HER VOICE

1989 was a devastating year for Julie Andrews because she was forced to pause her career after a supposedly "corrective" surgery left her hoarse and raspy. The procedure went wrong, and she lost her four-octave singing voice.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Silver Screen Collection | Julie Andrews in a promotional portrait for the film 'Star!', 1968.

For Andrews who was known because of that voice that she possessed, it’s very hard to accept. She “checked into a clinic for grief counseling earlier in 1999,” according to the e-news, and filed a battle against the surgeons who performed her operation.  

Image Credits: Getty Images/Dave Hogan | Dame Julie Andrews arrives at the launch of The Sound Of Music 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition DVD


COMING BACK AS THE QUEEN

When Andrews finally made her comeback, she played as the Queen of Genovia in the 2001 Princess Diaries alongside Anne Hathaway. Of course, we know the sensation that the film has made (and there’s a talk about the 3rd movie, we wonder if it’s true. But we’re excited!) 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Getty Images for MONTBLANC/Pascal Le Segretain | Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway attend the Princess Grace Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 1, 2011

By 2005, she also branched out into the literary sphere, authoring a beautifully illustrated children's book called Simeon's Gift which is about a musician. Well, she’s a queen in so many aspects. Don’t you agree? It’s not the only book that she authored, though!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Astrid Stawiarz | Julie Andrews and daughter Emma Walton Hamilton attend their book signing of "A Very Fairy Princess" at Saks Fifth Avenue


HOME AND HOMEWORK

The rags to riches story of Andrews was detailed in her first memoir, Home, which was published 12 years ago. Just last year, she published yet another memoir called Homework and its focus is on her Hollywood career. Both books were co-written with her eldest biological daughter, Emma.   

Image Credits: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Ida Mae Astute | Julie Andrews in ABC News Special: "The Untold Story of 'The Sound of Music'"


RESILIENCE

When Emma, now a mother of two, was asked how she would sum up her own mother in one word, she replied “resilience”. It’s quite interesting because it is what Julie has also answered when she was asked to describe her mother, Barbara. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/WireImage/Theo Wargo | Emma Walton Hamilton and mother Julie Andrews promote "Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies"

Despite her shortcomings, Julie adored her mum and confesses she learned a great deal from her. "She had a love and respect for music. She was a wonderful pianist, a very funny lady, and much more full of life than I think I ever could be…,” Julie shared. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images/Bravo/Charles Sykes | Julie Andrews on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen

Julie Andrews is now 88 years old and she is still relevant and will forever remain as one of Hollywood’s most phenomenal and iconic women. Though her story is now told in her memoir, we cannot wait to see what she is still about to do in the future. What was your favorite Julie Andrews movie? Let us know in the comments below!  

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