Birth Name: Julia Elizabeth Welles
Date of Birth: October 1, 1935
Best known for her astounding voice, Andrews was born in Walton-on-Thames, in Surrey, England. By the time she was eight years old, she had a fully formed adult throat and a four-octave range. Her mother and stepfather, both vaudeville performers, immediately got her into a singing career, and she performed in music halls throughout her childhood and teens.
When Andrews turned 19, she made her Broadway debut. Her performance was a hit and she became a star on the stage overnight. After work in television films like My Fair Lady, Camelot and Cinderella, she landed the title role in the Disney classic, Mary Poppins. The film made her a movie star and garnered her an Oscar, BAFTA award and Golden Globe for Best Actress.
In 1966 and '67, the Theatre Owners of America voted her Star of the Year, and among her three Golden Globes is one for being "The World's Favorite Actress."
With the success of her first film, she became the driving force for viewers who watched her third film The Sound of Music. The film became the highest-grossing movie of its day as well as one of the highest-grossing of all time. Although she helped the musical genre boom in the film industry, her other films did not fair well. Due to her now stereotyped image of a musical motherly figure, her other strong performances in films like The Americanization of Emily and Torn Curtain were not popular in the public eye.
During the '70s, Andrews was as popular on TV as she had been in the movies in the mid-'60s. Her first appearance on American TV was in her own series, The Julie Andrews Hour, which brought her eight Emmy Awards. In the mid-'70s she hosted a one-hour special called The Puzzle Children.
In between films and TV shows, she was cutting records, giving charity concerts, making personal appearances and concert tours in the U.S. and Japan, and writing children's books (using her married name, Julie Edwards). By 1978 she had another successful film released, 10, in which she starred opposite Dudley Moore. Her next film, S.O.B., was used as a vehical to shrug off her wholesome chains with a role that allowed her to bare her breasts.
The year 1982 marked her final mega-hit film, Victor/Victoria, which won her a Golden Globe and nominations from the Academy Awards and BAFTA for Best Actress. She continued acting throughout the 1980s and 1990s in movies and TV, hosting several specials and starring in a short-lived sitcom. In 1995, she returned to Broadway to star in the musical version of Victor/Victoria and was again a smash.
In March 1998 she underwent throat surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful and by the end of the year her husband announced she would probably never sing again because the throat surgery had ruined her voice. The news was hard on Andrews, who even spent some time in a psychiatric clinic to help her cope with the trauma. On New Year's Eve 1999, she was named a Dame by Britain's Queen Elizabeth.
Married twice, first to production designer Tony Walton and later to her present husband, Victor/Victoria director Blake Edwards, Andrews has one daughter by Walton, two step-children (Edward's kids) and two adopted daughters.
Filmography:Despicable Me (2010) (voice)