Senior Profile: Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews is a beloved and honored actress and singer, most famous for her roles in The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Andrews has accomplished much in her 78 years, especially since she overcame several career slumps and a devastating vocal cord surgery. She is known not only for her successes, but also her elegance and grace in which she deals with the trials in her life.

Andrews’ childhood was rocky. Her family was very poor, and moved to a London slum after evacuating the London Blitz. Her parents were performers, and their careers improved. Once they did, Andrews was able to begin singing lessons. She began singing on stage with her parents when she was 10. From there she expanded into radio, television, and stage performances. The audiences and critics loved her singing. In 1954 at the age of 19, Andrews made her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend. Only a year later, she received her first Tony Award nomination for best actress in a musical for her starring role in My Fair Lady. This would prove to be only the beginning of her award nominations.

Mary Poppins marked Andrews’ launch into film, and it was closely followed The Sound of Music, Hawaii, Tom Curtain, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Each of these films was a tremendous success, and the biggest hits in their respective film studio’s histories. Andrews quickly became the most successful film star in the world.

Even world-wide stars cannot be successful in every venture they pursue. After this string of successes, Andrews appeared in two of the most expensive flops in Hollywood: Star! and Darling Lili. Many of her subsequent projects were critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful. In 1995, Andrews returned to Broadway in the musical Victor/Victoria. Near the end of the show’s run, Andrews’ voice became hoarse, and she was forced to quit the show. She underwent surgery to repair her voice. In a devastating turn of events, the surgery left her voice permanently damaged.

In spite of these setbacks, Andrews continued to be successful with her many talents.  Her most recent films have been very successful. These include The Princess Diaries and its sequel, the Shrek films, and television films based on the Eloise books. In 2003 she returned to the theater, working behind the scenes as a director on a revival of her very first Broadway show, The Boy Friend.  Andrews lent her voice to the films Enchanted and Despicable Me. She also authored a number of children’s books and has done work for many charitable organizations.

Julie Andrews is known for her elegance, artistry, and dedication to her work. Andrews’ many awards speak to her talent. She has won an Academy Award, three Grammys, five Golden Globes, and two Emmys. She also won the Kennedy Center Honors, Disney Legend award, and Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. Both Andrews and her works are widely loved. Many of her films are regularly watched all over the world. Andrews is an inspiration who does not let the setbacks in her life stop her from being successful. She looks to the future, and continues to seek new challenges and opportunities to add to her impressive resume.

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