Julie Andrews Biography
From the BBC, Broadway and television, Julie Andrews has entertained and delighted millions with her delightful personality and singing voice.
Julia Wells (AKA Julie Andrews) was born on October 1, 1935 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, SE England (which is a suburb of London). She learned ballet and tap dancing from her aunt at a very young age. In 1939, she began voice lessons. Her instructor was her stepfather Ted Andrews. Julie’s mother and stepfather were in show business and sometimes Julie’s voice lessons were part of their act. When Julie started appearing on stage with her family, she changed her last name from Wells to Andrews. At eight years of age, Miss Andrews starting taking voice lessons four days a week from Lillian Stiles-Allen. Her four-octave range has been a noted part of her singing career, which has led her to be able to sing more than one type of song. Throughout World War II, Julie’s life consisted of appearing on stage and voice lessons.
In 1946, Julie appeared for the first time on stage without her parents at the Stage Door Canteen. Queen Elizabeth and her daughter Princess Margaret were in attendance. After this show, Julie Andrews was in demand for other shows including radio shows on the BBC.
Because of her success in radio and on stage, she was selected to act in New York City production of "The Boyfriend" in 1954. She was then in several long running Broadway musicals two of which are "Camelot" and "My Fair Lady." It was when Walt Disney saw this wonderful actress star in Camelot did he ask her to be in his film "Mary Poppins." Julie Andrews waited to see if she was going to be cast in the film version of "My Fair Lady" which ultimately went to actress Audrey Hepburn. Once Miss Andrews found that she was not chosen she contacted Walt Disney. She then made her film debut in 1964 in Disney’s film "Mary Poppins." Then in 1965 she was in the "Sound of Music." Since 1970, she has appeared exclusively in films that are directed by her husband Blake Edwards. She has been in over 20 films and television shows.
Julie Andrews has written two children’s books and now appears as a spokesperson on several commercials. Since her surgery to remove nodules from her vocal cords, Julie Andrews is no longer able to pursue a singing career.