Musicals Blog

Julie Andrews - From My Fair Lady to Mary Poppins

by Claire J Rottenberg

Julie Andrews started studying music as a child and by the age of 12 was already performing professionally. In the 1950s, while in her late teens, she appeared in plays in London's West End. Her first Broadway play, "The Boy Friend," opened in 1954, and Andrews gained the attention of critics. Two years later, she starred in " My Fair Lady" in the lead role of Eliza Doolittle, a part that led to Broadway stardom and a Tony nomination. "My Fair Lady" was followed by another Lerner and Loewe hit, "Camelot," in 1960.

Andrews' film career started in 1964, with her portrayal of "Mary Poppins." The Disney film was a huge success and the lead role earned Andrews an Academy Award for Best Actress. It also launched her movie career that spanned more than 40 years and included over 20 feature films. Her most acclaimed films include the Academy Award winning, "The Sound of Music," Andrews' first non-musical film, "The Americanization of Emily," "Torn Curtain," "Hawaii," "Thoroughly Modern Millie," and "Victor/Victoria."

In 1997, Andrews underwent throat surgery that left her unable to sing. Eleven years later, she sang once again in a short documentary entitled "Julie Andrews' The Gift of Music."