In our (humble) opinion, Oct. 1st might as well be an international holiday. For it was on this date in 1935 that the incomparable Dame Julie Andrews was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England to mother, Barbara Ward Wells, and father Edward Charles “Ted” Wells, a teacher of metalwork and woodwork. (Few know this, but Andrews was actually conceived as a result of an affair her mother was having with a family friend at the time.)
She would study first at the Cone-Ripman School (known as ArtsEd) , and then with acclaimed concert soprano, and voice instructor Madame Lilian Stiles-Allen; whom Andrews reveared as a “second mother”. Andrews would go on to do ‘Panto’ on the West End in Aladdin, and as the egg in Humpty Dumpty. She also played the title role in Cinderella. And on the eve of her 19th birthday, she would debut on Broadway, starring as “Polly Browne” in the hit London production of The Boy Friend, at The Royale Theater (currently the Bernard B. Jacobs). She would go on to star on Broadway in Camelot, My Fair Lady, and Victor Victoria. Not to mention, the 1993 Off-Broadway production of Sondheim’s Putting It Together at The Manhattan Theater Club, that would transfer to Broadway starring (Andrews’s close friend) Carol Burnett.
She starred in the film versions of (of course) The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Throughly Modern Millie, and over 40 more. She has been the recipient of the Academy Award, Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, People Choice, and The Kennedy Center Honor. But, ironically enough, Andrews has still yet to receive Broadway’s TONY Award! She previously declined her last nomination for Best Actress in Victor/Victoria in 1995, when the production (helmed by late husband, Blake Edwards) failed to garner any other TONY noms that year. This was back when movies transitioning to the stage were highly frowned upon, especially one that would include much of the original music from the film, and very few new songs written for the stage version.
Few icons are so beloved, and recognizable around the globe than Julie Andrews. She continues her storied career as an author, actress, and philanthropist. We thank God for Julie Andrews, for where would we would we be as a society without a voice like hers teaching us an attitude of grace, love, and kindness for over seven decades. Happy Birthday, Ms. Andrews!
We celebrate Julie Andrews in a rare video tribute, click below:
Julie Andrew sings for King George VI at age 13 (1948).
Julie Andrews and Richard Burton sing Camelot on The Ed Sullivan Show (1961).
Julie Andrews sings “Show Me” from My Fair Lady in a Lerner and Lowe special hosted by Maurice Chevalier (1962)
Julie Andrews sings “Could I Leave You?” from Putting It Together (1993).
Julie Andrews sings “Le Jazz Hot” in Victor/Victoria on Broadway (1995).
Julie Andrews sings “Louis Says” (with German subtitles) in Victor/Victoria on Broadway (1995).