Date of Birth 1 October 1935, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England, UK Birth Name Julia Elizabeth Wells Height 5' 8" (1.73 m) Dame Julie Elizabeth Andrews, is an award-winning English actress, singer, author and cultural icon. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honors. Andrews rose to prominence after starring in Broadway musicals such as My Fair Lady and Camelot, as well as musical films like Mary Poppins (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965). In 2001, she had a major revival of her acting career as a result of her role in The Princess Diaries, its sequel The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement as well as the Shrek animated films. In 2005 Andrews made her debut as a stage director with a revival of The Boyfriend, in which she also made her Broadway acting debut in 1954. Andrews was born Julia Elizabeth Wells on 1 October 1935 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England, the daughter of Edward C. "Ted" Wells, a teacher of metal and woodworking, and Barbara Morris, who played piano at her sister Joan's dance school. Andrews is the namesake of her two grandmothers, Julia Morris and Elizabeth Wells. It was at this Aunt Joan's dance school that two-year-old Andrews had her first non-speaking role as a fairy, then at age three the singing and speaking role of Nod in a production of Winken, Blinken, and Nod. In 1939, Andrews' mother met Ted Andrews (died 1966) while both worked for a variety show called The Dazzle Company at the seaside resort town of Bognor Regis. A Vaudeville-style entertainer who emigrated to England from Canada, Ted Andrews was billed as "The Canadian Troubador, Songs and a Guitar". With the outbreak of World War II, Andrews' parents went their separate ways. Her father assisted with the evacuation of children in Surrey during the Blitz, while her mother joined Ted Andrews in entertaining the troops through the good offices of the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). Andrews' parents were soon divorced and remarried, her mother to Ted Andrews in 1939, and her father to a former hairstylist working a lathe at a war factory that employed them both in Hinchley Wood, Surrey. Andrews lived briefly with her father and her brother John Wells in Surrey. About 1940, her father sent Andrews to live with her mother and stepfather, who Andrews' father felt would be better able to provide for his talented daughter's artistic training. While her mother wanted Andrews to call Ted Andrews "Uncle Ted", Andrews determined to refer to her stepfather as "Pop", while her father remained "Dad" or "Daddy" to her. Andrews' surname was legally changed to Andrews around this time. The Andrews family was "very poor and we lived in a bad slum area of London," Andrews said, adding,"That was a very black period in my life." But as the stage career of Ted and Barbara Andrews grew in popularity, they were able to afford to move to better surroundings, first to Beckenham, and then, as the war ended, back to Andrews' home town of Walton-on-Thames. The Andrewses took up residence at The Old Meuse, a house where Andrews' maternal grandmother happened to have served as a maid. Andrews' father sponsored lessons for his daughter, first at the Cone-Ripman School, then with the famous concert soprano and voice instructor Madame Lilian Stiles-Allen. "She had an enormous influence on me," Andrews said of Mme Stiles-Allen, adding, "She was my third mother -- I've got more mothers and fathers than anyone in the world." Andrews developed a strong voice and perfect pitch. Andrews performed spontaneously and unbilled on stage with her parents for about two years beginning in 1945. "Then came the day when I was told I must go to bed in the afternoon because I was going to be allowed to sing with Mummy and Pop in the evening," Andrews explained. She would stand on a beer crate to reach the microphone and sing while her mother played piano, sometimes a solo or as a duet with her stepfather. "It must have been ghastly, but it seemed to go down all right." Andrews got her big break when her step-father introduced her to Val Parnell, whose Moss Empires controlled prominent venues in London. Andrews made her professional solo debut at the London Hippodrome singing the difficult "Je Suis Titania" aria from Mignon as part of a musical revue called "Starlight Roof" on 22 October 1947. She played the Hippodrome for one year. See List of former child actors. On 1 November 1948, Andrews became the youngest solo performer ever to be seen in a Royal Command Variety Performance, at the London Palladium, where she performed along with Danny Kaye, the Nicholas Brothers, and the comedy team George and Bert Bernard for members of King George VI's family. Andrews followed her parents into radio and television. She reportedly made her television debut on the BBC program RadiOlympia Showtime on 8 October 1949. She garnered considerable fame throughout England for her work on the BBC radio show "Educating Archie", which she played from 1950 to 1952. Andrews appeared on West End Theatre at the London Casino, where she played one year each as Princess Balroulbadour in Aladdin and the egg in Humpty Dumpty. She also appeared on provincial stages across England in Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood, as well as starring as the lead role in Cinderella. On 30 September 1954, on the eve of her 19th birthday, Andrews made her Broadway debut portraying "Polly Browne" in the already highly successful London musical The Boy Friend. To the critics, Andrews was the stand-out performer in the show. In November 1955, Andrews was signed to appear opposite Bing Crosby in what is regarded as the first made-for-television movie, High Tor. In 1956, she appeared in the Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner musical My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle, opposite Rex Harrison's Henry Higgins. The show was a musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and became the smash hit of the decade. Andrews was a sensation. Before My Fair Lady, Andrews had auditioned for but not received a part in the Richard Rodgers play Pipe Dream. Rodgers wanted her for "Pipe Dream" but advised her to take the part in "My Fair Lady" if she was offered it, rather than the part in "Pipe Dream". Rodgers was so impressed with Andrews' talent that, concurrent with her run in My Fair Lady, Andrews was featured in the Rodgers and Hammerstein television musical, Cinderella. Cinderella was broadcast live on CBS on March 31, 1957 and attracted an estimated 107 million viewers.  Andrews married Tony Walton on 5 May 1959 in Weybridge, Surrey. They had first met in 1948 when Andrews was appearing at the London Casino in the show Humpty Dumpty. Andrews filed for divorce on 14 November 1967 In 1960, Lerner and Loewe again cast her in a period musical, as Queen Guinevere in Camelot, opposite Richard Burton and newcomer Robert Goulet. After a slow start, cast appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show ensured that the show would ultimately become a hit. Rave Broadway reviews aside, movie studio head Jack Warner felt Andrews lacked broad name recognition, so he hired film actress Audrey Hepburn to play Eliza for the film version of My Fair Lady. As Warner later recalled, the decision was easy. "In my business I have to know who brings people and their money to a movie theatre box office. Audrey Hepburn had never made a financial flop." Ironically, Hepburn's singing voice would be judged inadequate and would be overdubbed by Marni Nixon. Andrews received the "consolation" of playing her first film in the title role of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins. Walt Disney had seen a performance of Camelot and thought Andrews would be perfect for the role of an English nanny who is "practically perfect in every way!" Andrews initially declined due to pregnancy, but Disney politely insisted, saying, "We'll wait for you." Andrews and her husband headed back to England in September 1962 to await the birth of daughter Emma Kate Walton, who was born in London two months later. Andrews and family returned to America in 1963 and began the film. As a result of her performance in Mary Poppins, Andrews won the 1964 Academy Award for Best Actress and the 1965 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She and her "Mary Poppins" co-stars also won the 1965 Grammy Award for Best Album for Children. As a measure of "sweet revenge", as Poppins songwriter Richard M. Sherman put it, Andrews closed her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes by saying, "And, finally, my thanks to a man who made a wonderful movie, and who made all this possible in the first place, Mr. Jack Warner."[ Andrews was nominated for the 1965 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music. The movie also starred actors Christopher Plummer and Charmian Carr. The role had some superficial similarities to that of Mary Poppins. By the end of 1967, Julie had appeared in the most-watched television special, Cinderella; the biggest Broadway musical of its time, My Fair Lady; the largest-selling long-playing album, the original cast recording of My Fair Lady; the biggest hit in Disney's history, Mary Poppins; the biggest and second biggest hits in Universal's history, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Torn Curtain; and the biggest hit in 20th Century Fox's history and the most successful film of all time, The Sound of Music. This distinction is unmatched by any other performer in history Star!, a 1968 biopic of Gertrude Lawrence, and Darling Lili (1970), co-starring Rock Hudson and directed by her second husband, Blake Edwards (they married in 1969), are often cited by critics as major contributors to the decline of the movie musical. Both were damaging to Andrews' career and she made only two other films in the 1970s, Little Miss Marker and 10. She starred in her own variety series (for one season, on the ABC network in 1972 - 1973, winning 7 Emmy Awards), but the greatest critical acclaim accorded her TV work was for her variety show specials with her close friend Carol Burnett. In 1983, she was chosen as the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year by the Harvard University theatrical society. The roles of Victoria Grant and Count Victor Grezhinski in the film Victor/Victoria earned Andrews the 1983 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, as well as a nomination for the 1982 Academy Award for Best Actress, her third Oscar nomination overall. In 1993, she starred in a limited run at the Manhattan Theatre Club, of the American premiere of Stephen Sondheim's revue, Putting It Together. The show sold out immediately and proved that there was tremendous interest in seeing her return to the New York stage. In 1995, she starred in the commercially successful stage musical version of Victor/Victoria. It was her first appearance in a Broadway show in 35 years. Opening on Broadway on 25 October 1995 at the Marquis Theatre, it later went on the road on a very successful world tour. When she was the only Tony Award nominee for the production, she declined the nomination, saying that she could not accept because she felt the entire production was snubbed. Andrews was forced to quit the show towards the end of the Broadway run, when she developed vocal problems. She subsequently underwent surgery to remove non-cancerous nodules from her throat and was left unable to sing. In 1999, Andrews filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, including Stuart Kessler, who had operated on her throat. Originally, the doctors claimed that she should regain her voice within six weeks, but Andrews' stepdaughter Jennifer Edwards has claimed that "it's been two years, and it [her singing voice] still hasn't returned."[ Director Garry Marshall cast her in The Princess Diaries and its sequel, playing the role of the queen of an imaginary country, Queen Clarisse Marie Renaldi; both films, in which she starred opposite Anne Hathaway, proved to be box-office success stories. In the film The Princess Diaries 2, Andrews made her singing comeback, performing the song "Your Crowning Glory." The melody was set in a limited range of an octave and a major third to accommodate Andrews' recovering voice. The film's music superviser Dawn Soler had a positive reaction to Andrews' performance: "She nailed the song on the first take. I looked around and I saw grips with tears in their eyes." She has also starred in two made-for-television movies based on the character of Eloise (playing her Nanny), the child who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. In 2004, she lent her voice to the role of Queen Lillian in Shrek 2, and Shrek the Third. In 1999, Julie starred in a new movie, One Special Night, made for television, with James Garner. This would be their third time acting together; the first was The Americanization of Emily (1964) and the second Victor/Victoria (1982). She has described "The Americanization of Emily" as her favorite film.  In the 2000 New Year's Honours, despite her long exile in the United States and Switzerland, she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE). Andrews has been struggling to recover her four-octave singing voice following surgery to remove vocal fold cysts, but had a short tour of the U.S. at the end of 2002 with Christopher Plummer, Charlotte Church, Max Howard, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The year before her tour, she and Plummer reunited for the first time since The Sound of Music in a live television adaptation of On Golden Pond, which aired on CBS in the United States. Andrews' career is said to have suffered from typecasting, as her two most famous roles (in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music) cemented her image as a "sugary sweet" personality best known for working with children. Her roles in Blake Edwards' films could be seen as an attempt to break away from this image: In 10, her character is a no-nonsense career woman; in Victor/Victoria, she plays a woman pretending to be a man (who is working as a female impersonator); and, perhaps most notoriously, in S.O.B., she plays a character very similar to herself, who agrees (with some pharmaceutical persuasion) to "show my boobies" in a scene in the film-within-a-film. For this last performance, late night television host Johnny Carson thanked Andrews for "showing us that the hills were still alive", alluding to her most famous line from the title song of The Sound of Music. Andrews recently directed a revival of The Boy Friend, the musical in which she made her Broadway debut in 1954. The production was created in 2003, at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York. It was then remounted at the Tony Award winning Goodspeed Opera House in 2005, where she developed it further. From there, the show toured to cities in North America, including: Boston, Chicago and Toronto through 2006. The production included costume and scenic design by good friend and former husband, Tony Walton. Andrews received Kennedy Center Honors in 2001. She also appears in the 2002 List of "100 Greatest Britons" sponsored by the BBC and chosen by the public. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6901 Hollywood Blvd. On May 5th, 2005 Andrews became the Official Ambassador for Disneyland's 18 month-long, 50th anniversary celebration the "Happiest Homecoming on Earth". Her duties included making personal appearances at the park, traveling to promote the celebration and narrating the new 50th anniversary fireworks show, "Remember...Dreams Come True". In a recent (2006) interview, she said: "To be honest with you, I've never been busier in my life," Andrews said. "I'm not quite sure what I was supposed to learn from all of that. It did bother me. I can't say that I wasn't devastated. Singing, with an orchestra, being able to sing, was what I'd known my entire life. Whatever happened, I think I found so much to keep me feeling that I'm contributing still." In January of 2007, Andrews was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Screen Actors Guild's awards. The award was presented by two of Andrews' co-stars: Anne Hathaway, Andrews' co-star in The Princess Diaries, and Dick Van Dyke, her co-star from Mary Poppins. When commenting on her feelings on receiving the award, Andrews said: "I'm terribly honored...I mean, there are an awful lot of people out there that could be honored. And the fact that they very sweetly chose me, means a lot." When commenting on her career, Andrews said: "My career has just been blessed by good fortune, by amazing mentors who really cared and so many wonderful actors who have been a part of my life." Currently, Andrews' goals included continuing stage direction and possibly producing her own Broadway musical. In the fall of 2007, Julie Andrews will lend her voice to the narration of the Disney film, Enchanted. In April 2008, Andrews will release "part one", of her autobiography, entitled Home: A Memoir, which will chronicle her early years in England's Music Hall circuit, up to her winning the role of Mary Poppins. The American Library Association has invited Andrews to serve as the 2008 Chair of National Library Week to promote the value of libraries and librarians. "Libraries have always been places of opportunity, places where everyone can come together, whether for research, entertainment, self help or to find that one special book," she said.