October 23, 2017

Julie Andrews: Singer, Actress, Author

Julie Andrews turned 80 this week. Reading her stage, tv and screen credits is pretty impressive. Her movies include The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Victor/Victoria, The Americanization of Emily, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Victor/Victoria, not to mention The Princess Diaries and voice-overs for animated movies Shrek and Despicable Me. Throw in Broadway fare such as My Fair Lady, Camelot, Victor/Victoria and the Sondheim revue Putting It Together along with a tv version of Cinderella and countless small screen appearances and one exclaims, “What a career!”

Surprisingly, Ms. Andrews has also found time to be an author with children’s book titles such as The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, Mandy, Little Bo In Italy, Dragon: Hound of Honor and a series of The Very Fairy Princess books.

If you want to know more about Andrews growing up in World War II London, I thoroughly recommend, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, written with wit, grace and emotion. One can only hope that she finds the time to write about her subsequent years in New York and Hollywood.

I have one tiny connection to her from my days at the Pump Room. Victor/Victoria, the musical was doing a pre-Broadway run in Chicago. I wrote Ms. Andrews a letter asking for any advance sheet music from the show. In the nicest way, she said that the publishers didn’t want any music going out before the Broadway opening. The letter was typed but it did have her signature in ink. Celebrity geek treasure! I didn’t get to meet her, but many of the cast members of Victoria/Victoria made the Pump Room their watering hole while in Chicago, including Tony Roberts and Michael Nouri. She was, of course, absolutely marvelous in the show.

Happy birthday Julie!

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