Oct. 1st, 1935
Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England, UK
Julie Andrews' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Dame Julie Elizabeth Andrews, DBE (born 1 October 1935) is a British film and stage actress, singer, author, theatre director, and dancer. In 2000, she was made a Dame for services to the performing arts by Queen Elizabeth II.
Julia Elizabeth Wells was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England. Her mother, Barbara Ward Wells (née Morris), was married to Edward Charles "Ted" Wells, a teacher of metalwork and woodwork, but Andrews was conceived as a result of an affair her mother had with an unnamed family friend. Andrews discovered her true parentage from her mother in 1950, although it was not publicly disclosed until her 2008 autobiography.
With the outbreak of World War II, Barbara and Ted Wells went their separate ways. Ted Wells assisted with evacuating children to Surrey during the Blitz, while Barbara joined Ted Andrews in entertaining the troops through the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). Barbara and Ted Wells were soon divorced. They both remarried: Barbara to Ted Andrews, in 1939; and Ted Wells to a former hairstylist working a lathe at a war work factory that employed them both in Hinchley Wood, Surrey.
Andrews lived briefly with Ted Wells and her brother John in Surrey. In about 1940, Ted Wells sent her to live with her mother and stepfather, who, the elder Wells thought, would be better able to provide for his talented daughter's artistic training. According to her 2008 autobiography Home, while Julie had been used to calling Ted Andrews "Uncle Ted", her mother suggested it would be more appropriate to refer to her stepfather as "Pop", while her father remained "Dad" or "Daddy" to her. Julie disliked this change.
The Andrews family was "very poor and we lived in a bad slum area of London", Andrews recalled, adding, "That was a very black period in my life". According to Andrews, her stepfather was violent and an alcoholic. Ted Andrews twice, while drunk, tried to get into bed with his stepdaughter, resulting in Andrews putting a lock on her door. But, as the stage career of Ted and Barbara Andrews improved, they were able to afford to move to better surroundings, first to Beckenham and then, as the war ended, back to the Andrews' home town of Hersham. The Andrews family took up residence at the Old Meuse, in West Grove, Hersham, a house (now demolished) where Andrews' maternal grandmother had served as a maid.
Andrews had married set designer Tony Walton on May 10, 1959 in Weybridge, Surrey. They had first met in 1948 when Andrews was appearing at the London Casino in the show Humpty Dumpty. Andrews and her husband headed back to Britain in September 1962 to await the birth of daughter Emma Katherine Walton, who was born in London two months later.
In 1963, Andrews began her work in the title role of Disney's musical film Mary Poppins. 'Walt Disney' had seen a performance of Camelot and thought Andrews would be perfect for the role of the British nanny who is "practically perfect in every way!" Andrews initially declined because of pregnancy, but Disney politely insisted, saying, "We'll wait for you".
Andrews made her feature film debut in Mary Poppins (1964), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She received her second Academy Award nomination for The Sound of Music (1965). Adjusted for inflation, the later film is the 3rd highest grossing film of all time. Between 1964 and 1967, Andrews had other box office successes with The Americanization of Emily, Hawaii, Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, making her the most successful film star in the world at that time.
Andrews next appeared in two of Hollywood's most expensive flops: Star! (1968), a biopic of Gertrude Lawrence, and Darling Lili (1970), co-starring 'Rock Hudson' and directed by her second husband, Blake Edwards (they married in 1969, following her divorce from Tony Walton in 1967). The couple stayed married for 41 years until Edwards' death in 2010.
In the 1970s, Edwards and Andrews adopted two daughters; Amy in 1974 and Joanna in 1975. Edwards' children from a previous marriage, Jennifer and Geoffrey, were 3 and 5 years older than Emma, Andrews' daughter with Tony Walton. Sometime in 1970, Andrews was one of the many actresses considered for the lead role of Eglantine Price in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks, losing the role to 'Angela Lansbury'.
Andrews continued her association with Disney when she appeared as the nanny in two television films based on the Eloise books, a series of children's books by 'Kay Thompson' about a child who lives in the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Eloise at the Plaza premiered in April 2003, and Eloise at Christmastime was broadcast in November 2003; Andrews was nominated for an Emmy Award.
- Won a 1964 Grammy in the Best Recording For Children category for the Mary Poppins soundtrack.
- Was considered for the role of Susy Hendrix in the film _Wait Until Dark (1967)_ (qv) . The role eventually went to 'Audrey Hepburn' (qv) as it did in _My Fair Lady (1964)_ (qv).
- Could sing notes only dogs could hear at the age of seven.
- Author of children's books: "Mandy"; "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles"; "Little Bo: The Story of Bonnie Boadicea"; "Little Bo in France: The Further Adventures of Bonnie Boadicea"; "Dumpy the Dump Truck"; "Dumpy and his Friends"; "Dumpy and the Great Storm"; "Dumpy Saves Christmas"; "Dumpy's Friends on the Farm" and "Dumpy at School". Her writing style on "Mandy" and "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" is reminiscent of 'Frances Hodgson Burnett' (qv) and 'Roald Dahl' (qv).
- Her performance as Mary Poppins in _Mary Poppins (1964)_ (qv) is ranked #45 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
- Julie Andrews was nominated for the 1961 Tony Award for Actress in a Musical for "Camelot".
- Sings scales rather than songs in the shower.
- Has owned a chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, for many years. Every year she pays for Gstaad's Christmas lights. In July she presents the prize for the winner of the annual Gstaad Tennis Open. She once said if she was nervous before a performance on stage, she'd just have to look at a photo from 'lovely' Gstaad, and she was reassured.