Julie Andrews

Topics: Julie Andrews, Family, Mary Poppins Pages: 6 (2334 words) Published: October 4, 2012
Julie Andrews was born Julia Elizabeth Wells on 1 October 1935 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. She is a born natural at performing, and she loves the stage. She made her first stage appearance at the very young age of two, as a fairy. Her aunt, Joan worked for dancing school where her mother, Barbara provided piano accompaniment for classes and performances, and her father, Ted made the stage sets. It was all too natural for her to come to be on the stage. Due to her mother’s stage ambitions for her, she was home taught and as her father was a teacher, it became convenient. World War II broke out when Julie was four, and her father volunteered for the Royal Air Force. Her parents soon separated and Barbara fell in love with another man, Ted Andrews, who was part of a traveling concert group that Barbara was a part of. Although Julie’s father was awarded custody of her and her brother, he signed Julie over to her mother because he recognized her talent and he knew that he was not in a position to get her into the business, and her mother and new stepfather were able to do this. After losing these two precious family members, her mother moved them into a house in London. When Blitzes would light up the sky, the little family (by this time she had another brother, Donald) would run to the subway station and stay underground until it was over, since their home did not have a basement. Eventually her mother was able to afford a ground flat, which had a basement air raid shelter. It seemed that every time she came to a more stable environment, another air raid would happen and she would lose her sense of security. It was in this basement that her voice was discovered. Her parents would sing to pass the time during the air raids, and one night Julie was heard singing an octave above that of her stepfather. Julie was taken to a singing coach, who discovered she had a three octave range, very strange for a girl at the age of nine. Physicians discovered her secret to be a fully mature, adult larynx. Soon her voice had been trained to reach four octaves and her mother and stepfather incorporated her into their act. Her stepfather found it awkward to introduce her as Julia Wells, so with the approval of her father, her name was changed to Julie Andrews. She only agreed to this because it was convenient, since she loathed her stepfather. The year following her name change, her mother was able to afford to move into a house, this house was called The Old Meuse. There was a yard for the children to run and play in. Her aunt lived on the grounds with them, and set up her own dance studio, where Julie continued to be instructed in dance. Her mother would often call her in to sing for friends, and one day she was called in to sing for the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Film Cooperation, and the manager of Britain’s largest theatre circuit. These gentlemen gave Julie a role in what would be her West End theatre debut, but she was dropped from the show two days before opening night. Her mother and agent fought for her, and after stunning the producers at dress rehearsal, they agreed to let her perform. Not long after she became a start of the London stages, her parents show went downhill and she became the biggest sustainer of her family, she paid the mortgage and even helped pay for her little brothers’ schooling. But before long, she was offered a role in The Boy Friend, which took her to the United States, and to Broadway. She became a star and after the first performance, September 30, 1954. Her name was put in lights above the title. Later came the musicals My Fair Lady (1956), and Camelot (1960). It was during a performance of Camelot that Walt Disney came to see her perform, shortly after acquiring the rights to make a movie out of the popular books on Mary Poppins. After hearing Julie whistle during a song, he was sold on the idea of her becoming Mary Poppins. He...
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