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Julie Andrews on finding her voice again, as a children’s book author

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Julie Andrews on finding her voice again, as a children's book author
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Google News Recentlyheard

“Mary Poppins” was Julie Andrews’ first movie. Her second movie was “The Sound of Music.” If she had by no means made one other film, she would possibly nonetheless be one in every of Hollywood’s loveliest and beloved stars … and era after era would nonetheless be singing alongside. 

Although that was just the start of a profession actually in its eighth decade, it is an excellent place to begin. As a result of now, Julie Andrews is a author of kids’s books, with co-author, and daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. Their newest is a narrative of the theater from the attitude of … a duck. 

And it is a true story! Hamilton mentioned, “Some years in the past, right here at Bay Avenue Theatre in Sag Harbor, we occurred to note {that a} pair of geese had been nesting in a planter in our courtyard out entrance.”

“And naturally, our geese within the ebook are theatrical geese, very a lot so,” mentioned Andrews. “They hear music.”  And Mr. Puddle Duck sneaks into the theater…

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Julie Andrews together with her daughter, and co-author, Emma Walton Hamilton.

CBS Information


“Ready within the Wings” is the thirty fifth ebook by this prolific partnership, a collaboration that has given Andrews a brand new voice. Thirty years in the past, a surgical process went horribly fallacious, destroyed her well-known soprano, and took her id. “Someday I used to be bemoaning my destiny and lacking very a lot the truth that I could not sing, as a result of the surgical procedure went awry and it took away my skill to do what I like to do,” Andrews mentioned. “And so, I used to be bemoaning my destiny to Emma, and she or he mentioned, ‘Oh, Mum, you have simply discovered one other manner of sharing your voice.’ And I inform you, it hit me so arduous what she mentioned. And I’ve by no means actually bemoaned it since.”

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Little, Brown Books for Younger Readers


Sounding rather a lot like a youthful Julie Andrews, who as Maria mentioned, “When the Lord closes a door, someplace he opens a window.” 

And there are another intriguing parallels: “Each Maria and Mary Poppins should win over skeptical kids,” mentioned Pauley. “They’re all about enjoyable, however not all about enjoyable. They’re sly academics. They’re optimists. However they acknowledge that kids have actual issues.”

“We do not discuss all the way down to children,” mentioned Andrews. “We attempt to carry them up in order that you do not condescend in any manner.”

She’s beloved books since she was a toddler. Born in 1935, her childhood recollections embody air raid sirens and operating for canopy through the Blitz, the German bombing of London in World Struggle II. Her mother and father had already cut up up. It was her stepfather who found her voice – a nine-year-old soprano with an astonishing four-octave vary. “Little Julie” grew to become a part of her mother and father’ musical act on the vaudeville circuit.

Earlier than lengthy, she was supporting the household, paying the household mortgage whereas nonetheless a youngster. “Nicely, we would have liked money dreadfully,” Andrews mentioned. “So finally, once I was about 15, I went out by myself throughout England, ‘spherical and round and round.”

“However with the accountability that your loved ones wanted a roof over their head and it was your job to do it?” requested Pauley.

“Nicely, I used to be a part of the household making an attempt to do it,” she replied. “However finally, it was simply me, as a result of my stepfather was an alcoholic, sadly.”

However she mentioned at that younger age she was not, regardless of her coaching, reaching for the celebrities. “No, actually, doubting that I ever would,” Andrews mentioned. “I imply, I used to be doing it as a result of it helped and I needed to. In my teenagers, I’d suppose, ‘What’s all this for? The place is it going to guide?’ After which, instantly, the world broke open.”

At 19, she was solid because the lead in a Broadway present, Sandy Wilson’s “The Boy Good friend.” She was a 10-year veteran of the stage and a skilled vocalist, however she was not fairly prepared. “I did not have performing classes or something like that,” she mentioned. “I picked it up and discovered, and individuals are very sort. You already know, they do not damage puppies, really, if you realize what I am saying! And I used to be a pet, and I did not know what the heck I used to be doing. However I discovered and was grateful for the entire instructing that I received.”

Nonetheless a newcomer, at 20 she created the function of Eliza Doolittle reverse veteran Rex Harrison in Lerner & Loewe’s 1956 smash hit, “My Truthful Girl.” The next yr, she starred in a CBS manufacturing of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” on tv. 100 million People noticed Andrews for the primary time.

In 1960 she was Guenevere to Richard Burton’s King Arthur in “Camelot.” However when Walt Disney was within the viewers one night time, he noticed his Mary Poppins. It was an Academy Award-winning efficiency in her very first movement image.

Clockwise from high left: Julie Andrews within the Broadway manufacturing of “My Truthful Girl”; with Richard Burton in “Camelot”; as Maria in “The Sound of Music”; and with Dick Van Dyke in “Mary Poppins.”

Getty Photos


Andrews nonetheless radiates grace, and gratitude, however within the very British custom of “getting on with issues.” “I simply really feel most of my life that I have been so very, very lucky to have the id of a singing voice, to have the alternatives to study the best way to be on stage or movie or no matter,” she mentioned. 

Hamilton added, “You had been very lucky, and also you had been additionally very unlucky in some methods – rising up within the battle with alcoholic mother and father and being put to work at a really younger age and being, basically, robbed of a childhood.”

“Feeling wanted and important and precious, too, yeah,” mentioned Andrews.

Hamilton famous that her mom’s mantra has all the time been, Are we fortunate or what? “I feel whether or not or not it is true, it’s the factor that received you thru,” Hamilton mentioned.

Pauley mentioned, “When Maria in ‘The Sound of Music,’ as she’s falling in love and he is in love, she sings the track that features a line, ‘Someplace in my youth and childhood, I should have carried out one thing good.'”

“Nicely, anyone should have, ‘trigger I received so rattling lucky,” Andrews laughed. “Are we fortunate …?”

“… or what?” laughed Hamilton.

       
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Story produced by Kay Lim. Editor: Remington Korper.

      
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