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Andrews, Julie (originally Julia Elizabeth Wells)

playing stage career music

Andrews, Julie (originally Julia Elizabeth Wells), b. Walton-on-Thames, England, Oct. I, 1935. Whether playing a novice in The Sound of Music or the ultimate nanny in Mary Poppins, Andrews’s innocent image always fit her crystalline soprano voice, which could scale four and a half octaves. A child star on the British music-hall stage, Andrews became a Broadway phenom at age 19, and conquered the silver screen several years later. Musicals were her forte, and her career dipped in the 1970s as the form became less popular, and she was unable to convert her stage and screen success into a solo recording career. She made a comeback after her marriage to director Blake Edwards, though, playing against type in his films 10, S.O.B. (where she bared her breasts), and Victor/Victoria, where she played the challenging gender-bending role of a woman playing a man playing a woman. Through it all, Andrews’s voice has remained magnificent; it is one of the definitive instruments of the Broadway stage and movie musicals.

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