A Life on Stage and ScreenBook - 1997
At thirteen Andrews performed for the Queen of England; at nineteen she was a Broadway star. At twenty-one, as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, she became a theatrical legend. By thirty, she was the highest-paid and most beloved actress in the world, with an Academy Award for her first movie, Mary Poppins, and almost instant worldwide box-office championship with The Sound of Music.
Her remarkable body of work had stamped her indelibly with an image she would come to hate; the quintessence of perky, wholesome innocence. After two flop musicals, Star! and Darling Lili, the press and the public seemed to ignore her. She had turned into box-office poison in Hollywood. But even in semi-exile she worked in an Emmy-winning television variety series, wrote two successful children's books, and concentrated on her growing family. Julie Andrews had become a superstar before she became her own person, and now she made up for lost time.
When she reemerged in movies in the 1980s, it was in sensationally different roles, many of them created for her by her husband, Blake Edwards. After Duet for One, The Man Who Loved Women, and A Fine Romance there was no going back to Mary Poppins. In the 1990s she returned to concert tours, musical recordings, and Broadway. She also returned to controversy, by refusing her 1996 nomination for an almost certain Tony Award to stand with the "egregiouslyoverlooked" -- the rest of the cast and crew, especially her writer-director husband.