Andrews, Julie (originally Julia Elizabeth Wells)

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Andrews, Julie (originally Julia Elizabeth Wells)

Andrews, Julie (originally Julia Elizabeth Wells), b. Walton-on-Thames, England, Oct. I, 1935. Whether playing a novice in The Sound of Music or the ultimate nanny in Mary Poppins, Andrews’s innocent image always fit her crystalline soprano voice, which could scale four and a half octaves. A child star on the British music-hall stage, Andrews became a Broadway phenom at age 19, and conquered the silver screen several years later. Musicals were her forte, and her career dipped in the 1970s as the form became less popular, and she was unable to convert her stage and screen success into a solo recording career. She made a comeback after her marriage to director Blake Edwards, though, playing against type in his films 10, S.O.B. (where she bared her breasts), and Victor/Victoria, where she played the challenging gender-bending role of a woman playing a man playing a woman. Through it all, Andrews’s voice has remained magnificent; it is one of the definitive instruments of the Broadway stage and movie musicals.

Discography

My Fair Lady (Broadway cast recording; 1956); Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall (with Carol Burnett; 1962); Mary Poppins (soundtrack; 1964); The Sound of Music (soundtrack; 1965); Thoroughly Modern Millie (soundtrack; 1967); A Christmas Treasure (with Andre Previn; 1968); A Little Bit of Broadway (1977); Christmas with Julie Andrews (1982); Love, Julie (1989); Broadway: The Music of Richard Rodgers (1994); Thoroughly Modern Julie: The Best of Julie Andrews (1996); Broadway: Here VII Stay—The Words of Alan Jay Lerner (1996); Greatest Christmas Songs (2000).