by Kate Blake, Admin SN66
Some of my earliest memories as a child was seeing The Sound of Music and then Mary Poppins at the drive in movie theater with my parents. I was in my jammies and had my own small popcorn and a drink in the backseat of our 1969 Ford Torino , while my parents sat in the front. This must have been in 1969 when we had first moved to California and my sister was still a year away from being a reality.
For those of you who are too young to have experienced the thrill of the drive in- it was the original big screen movie experience. The speakers by your car broadcast the sound and the giant screens were the homes to our icons and memories. I came away from those movies wanting to BE Julie Andrews. I wanted to sing like the angel I thought she was. I wore out my LP soundtracks from both films while singing -off -key – along in my bedroom while playing with my Barbies and wishing I could see the fantasy world of the chalk drawings in Poppins and the beauty of the alps as well as the incredible romance between Maria and Von Trapp.
Years later Julie shed her image as the puritanical songstress in such movies as SOB and then Victor/Victoria and I forgave her. I had grown up and acknowledged my singing was best suited to being the volume in a church sing-along and Star Search would not be coming after me as the new big talent on the rise.
Victor/Victoria maybe one of the most perfect comedies ever- a musical even people who don’t care for musicals can enjoy. After touring for years doing Victor/Victoria and other musicals on stage ( she started out on stage as the first Eliza Doolittle in My Fairlady in the 1950s) Julie had surgery to repair some damage to her vocal chords and instead of repairing it she lost her ability to sing. The world was robbed that day of a great voice but it has not stopped her from continuing to work as an entertainer. She was the memorable grandmother to Anne Hathaway in the Princess Diary movies- returning Julie to Disney for the first time in a very long time.
This week she released a memoir entitled Home: A Memoir of My Early Years
Today Julie was at Macys in Philadelphia celebrating her book’s release- part of their the Stars Come to Macys ad campaign. I managed to get some lovely photos of Julie to share here. I will be adding her memoirs to my to buy list. She has led an interesting life and I know her art has enriched my own.
Official Book Description:
Since her first appearance on screen in Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews has played a series of memorable roles that have endeared her to generations. But she has never told the story of her life before fame. Until now.
In Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, Julie takes her readers on a warm, moving, and often humorous journey from a difficult upbringing in war-torn Britain to the brink of international stardom in America. Her memoir begins in 1935, when Julie was born to an aspiring vaudevillian mother and a teacher father, and takes readers to 1962, when Walt Disney himself saw her on Broadway and cast her as the world’s most famous nanny.
Along the way, she weathered the London Blitz of World War II; her parents’ painful divorce; her mother’s turbulent second marriage to Canadian tenor Ted Andrews, and a childhood spent on radio, in music halls, and giving concert performances all over England. Julie’s professional career began at the age of twelve, and in 1948 she became the youngest solo performer ever to participate in a Royal Command Performance before the Queen. When only eighteen, she left home for the United States to make her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend, and thus began her meteoric rise to stardom.
Home is filled with numerous anecdotes, including stories of performing in My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison on Broadway and in the West End, and in Camelot with Richard Burton on Broadway; her first marriage to famed set and costume designer Tony Walton, culminating with the birth of their daughter, Emma; and the call from Hollywood and what lay beyond.
Julie Andrews’ career has flourished over seven decades. From her legendary Broadway performances, to her roles in such iconic films as The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii, 10, and The Princess Diaries, to her award-winning television appearances, multiple album releases, concert tours, international humanitarian work, best-selling children’s books, and championship of literacy, Julie’s influence spans generations. Today, she lives with her husband of thirty-eight years, the acclaimed writer/director Blake Edwards; they have five children and seven grandchildren.
Featuring over fifty personal photos, many never before seen, this is the personal memoir Julie Andrews’ audiences have been waiting for.