Dame Julie Elizabeth Andrews, better known as Julie Andrews, is a British actress. She is famous for her role in the movies like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Victor/Victoria, Mary Poppins and so on. She has received different awards like Academy Awards, BAFTA, five Golden Globes, three Grammys, two Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards and so on. Apart from acting, she is a singer and author who has written children’s book and has published autobiography including Home: A Memoir of My Early Years. She was ranked #59 in the BBC’s pool of the 100 Greatest Britons.
Julia Andrews was born on 1st October 1935, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England to parents Barbara Ward Wells and Edward Charles Wells, a teacher of metalwork and woodwork. Her parents divorced after the outbreak of World War II.
She grew up with her father, Edward, and brothers John in Surrey. She belonged to a low-income family and lived in a slum area of London when she was a child. Later, her parents improved their career and moved to better surrounding in Beckenham and then in Hersham.
Her step-father sponsored her education at the Cone-Ripman School, an independent arts educational school in London and trained with Madame Lilian Stiles-Allen, a concert soprano and voice instructor. Later, she attended the Woodbrook School, in Beckenham.
Julia made her first stage performance with her mother and step-father at her early age in 1945, and she continued it for next two years. During the period, she got an opportunity to meet Val Parnell, a British television managing director and presenter, actor and theatrical impresario.
Then she made a solo debut in London Hippodrome, singing the difficult aria, Je Suis Titania from Mignon as a part of a musical revue called Starling Rood in October 1947 and performed there nearly for a year.
At 13, she became one of the youngest solo performers in a Royal Command Variety Performance for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the London Palladium, performing with Danny Kaye, the Nicholas Brothers and the comedy team Georg and Bert Bernard. Later, she made her television debut on the BBC program RadiOlympia Showtime on 8th October 1949.
In 1949, she dubbed her voice for the role Princess Zeila in English-language Italian animated movie, La Rosa di Bagdad, directed by Anton Gino Domenighni. Later, she appeared on West End Theater at the London Casino and played the egg in Humpty Dumpty and Princess Badroulbadout in Aladdin. Also, she played in Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and a lead role in Cinderella.
She made her Broadway debut in the third-longest running musical The Boy Friend. It was one of the successful London musicals where she was the stand-out performer in the show.
She won her first Theater World Awards for her Outstanding Broadway Debut. She also appeared on The Bell Telephone Hour, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, What’s My Line?, The Jack Benny Program and The Garry Moore Show.
After playing several roles in the theater, she portrayed the character of Mary Poppins in Robert Stevenson’s directed Disney’s musical-fantasy movie, Mary Poppins.
She received different awards and nominations including Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Laurel Awards and New York Film Critics Circle Awards. The movie was one of the biggest box-office draws in Disney history which earned $102.3 million of collections.
Then she appeared in the films including Stars!, and Darling Lili, directed by her second husband, Blake Edwards. Her next successful hit movie was The Sound of Music, where she is seen opposite to Christopher Plummer. The movie was directed and produced by Robert Wise which earned $286.2 million at the Box-office.
Apart from acting, she has published an autobiography, Home: A Memory of My Early, one of the best-selling memoir which was published on 1st April 2008 by Hyperion. She has even published different children’s books including The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles.
Moreover, she has worked in successful hit TV series The Julie Andrews Hour and stage show Victor/Victoria. Also, she has given her voice in the animated movies including Shrek animated movie, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Despicable Me and Despicable 3.
Julie has received different awards in her lifetime. She was honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at the Screen Actors Guild’s awards in January 2007. Later, she also received George and Ira Gershwin Award, Grammar Lifetime Achievement Award, Disney Legend Awards, Hamptons Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Awards, Kennedy Center Honors Awards.
Apart from Film industry awards, she has received many honorary degrees in recognition of her distinguished career in entertainment. She was honored by the University of Maryland-Doctors of Fine Arts in 1970, Yale University-Doctor of Fine Arts in 1999 and Stony Brook University-Doctor of Letters in 2012.
Julia has been married twice in her lifetime. She first married Tony Walton, an English set, and costume designer, on 10th May 1959 in Weybridge, Surrey. The couple first met in 1948 at the London Casino in the Humpty Dumpty.
The couple later moved to London in 1962 where she gave birth to a daughter, Emma Kathrine Walton. After eight years of marital relationship, the husband and wife divorced in 1967.
After two years of divorce with Tony, she married Blake Edwards, an American movie director, screenwriter, and producer, in 1969. The husband and wife adopted two daughters: Amy and Joanna in the 1970s. She was with her husband till his last breath in 2010.
Now, she is a grandmother to nine children.
Julia has successfully collected an estimated net worth of $45 million from her career in acting, singing, and as an author.