Sunday June 10, 2012 11:08:48 AM
Favourite movie 'Sound of Music'
Born Julia Elizabeth Wells on October 1st, 1935, in
Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, eighteen miles south of London.
Her father Ted
Wells was a woodwork teacher and her mother Barbara Morris Wells gave piano
lessons and was a part-time pianist for a dance school ran by her sister, Joan
Morris. When Julie was two she appeared in the dance schools pageant as a fairy.
In 1939 Barbara Wells took a job as a pianist for a variety show. Also on
the bill was a tenor named Ted Andrews. After a short while they became a double
act. With the advent of World War II, Ted and Barbara Wells grew apart and were
divorced. Barbara married Ted Andrews.
Julie's step father began to give her
singing lessons in an attempt to get to know her better. To everyone's surprise
Julie had a fully developed larynx, perfect pitch and a large four octave vocal
range. Julie soon became part of Ted and Barbara's act. It was at this time that
Julie changed her last name to Andrews simplifying the billing of their act.
At the age of eight Julie was eight when began singing lessens with Madame
Lillian Stiles-Allen.. The two became close friends. It was thanks to Lillian’s
training that Julie ended up with perfect diction.
Julie made her radio
debut in 1946 singing a duet with Ted Andrews on a BBC variety show called
"Monday at Eight".
On December 5th 1946, Julie performed alone for the first
time at London's Stage Door Canteen. The Queen (later the Queen Mother) and the
late Princess Margaret were in attendance.
In December 1947, Julie was given
a screen test by the British division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer however they
thought her unfilmable.
Around this time Julie toured the length and breadth
of Great Britain making Music Hall appearances, and at Christmas doing
pantomimes such as Red Riding Hood, in which she played the title role. At the
age of thirteen Julie was cast as Humpty Dumpty in Emile Little's pantomime of
the same name. It was at this time that Julie met Tony Walton, who she would
Julie auditioned for Lerner and Loewe for the role of Eliza
Doolittle in the musical version of George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion, which
was renamed my Fair Lady. The show premiered in 1956 and was a critical success,
it ran for two years in New York and for eighteen months in London's West End.
On May 10th 1959 Julie and Tony Walton were married at St. Mary's Church,
Oatlands, Weybridge. Tony designed Julie's wedding dress. Julie's daughter Emma
Kate Walton was born on November 27th 1962 in London.
On February 8th, 1965
Julie received her first Golden Globe Award as Best Motion Picture Actress in a
musical comedy for Mary Poppins. On April 5th this year Julie won an Academy
Award for best actress in the role as Mary Poppins.
Julie filmed The
Americanisation of Emily straight after Mary Poppins; this was Julie's first
straight dramatic role. Then came one of Julie's most important roles, Maria in
The Sound of Music. This would end up being one of the most loved movies of all
time. The film was a box office smash winning five Oscars. On January 31st,
1966, Julie received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in The Sound of
During this time Julie and Tony grew further and further apart ending
in divorce, although the two are still good friends.
On February 15th, 1967,
Julie was voted World Film Favourite Actress at the Golden Globe Awards. Julie
received the honour again the following year.
November 13th 1969 Julie
married director-producer-writer Blake Edwards at a private ceremony in the
garden of their Coldwater Canyon home. During this period she starred in earned
her Victor/Victoria for which Julie won her 4th golden Globe Award.
October 7th, 1989, Julie won the British Academy for Film and Television Arts'
special Tribute Award.(BAFTA) She was the first actress ever to receive this
In 1995, Julie made a triumphant return to Broadway in
the stage version of Victor/Victoria, directed by Blake Edwards.
name of Julie Edwards, Julie authored the first of her children's books in 1971.
Ms Andrews is also working on her autobiography.
Julie is the devoted mother
of 5 grown children, daughter Emma, Blake Edwards two children, Jennifer and
Geoffrey, as well as Amy and Joanna, two orphans the couple adopted in 1974.
Away from stage and screen, Ms Andrews is an unflagging worker on behalf of
several charities, including Operation USA, UNICEF and Save the Children. In
1992 Julie served as Goodwill Ambassador for UNIFEM.
In December 2001, Julie
was honoured at The John F. Kennedy Centre for the 24th annual national
celebration of the arts for her unique and extremely valuable contribution to
films and the musical theatre .
Dame Julie Andrews is currently struggling to
regain her world renowned singing voice after a botched throat operation, but
she remains optimistic that one day she will sing again.