10 Facts About Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews has been delighting Disney fans for over half a century. From her practically perfect role as Mary Poppins to her work as the official ambassador for the Happiest Homecoming on Earth at Disneyland, she has become a Disney Legend in every sense of the word. Here is a look at the ways Julie Andrews remarkable career has intertwined with the world of Disney.
1. The London Hippodrome
At the age of 12, Andrews appeared at the London Hippodrome in Starlight Roof. Future Disney Legend Wally Boag was performing in the show and, part way through the show, would ask if anyone in the audience could sing. The young Andrews would come on stage to sing the Polonaise “Je Suis Titania” from the opera Mignon.
From 1960-1963, Andrews appeared as Queen Guinevere in the Broadway musical Camelot. Walt Disney saw her in the musical and immediately approached her about taking the lead role in his upcoming film Mary Poppins.
3. Mary Poppins
In 1964, Andrews appeared in her definitive role as the title character of Mary Poppins, although it almost didn’t occur. When Disney approached her about the film, Andrews was pregnant and planned on returning to England to have the baby. When informed, Walt promised that they would wait for her. The film became one of the crowning achievements in Disney history, blending live action, animation and brilliant songwriting by the Sherman Brothers. Andrews won an Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Grammy award for the role.
4. Bedknobs and Broomsticks
When Disney made Bedknobs and Broomsticks, another live action and animation hybrid film, the starring role of Miss Price was originally intended for Julie Andrews. She turned down the part, before changing her mind out of a sense of loyalty to Disney. However, the role had been given to Angela Lansbury.
5. Walt Disney World
In 1971, Andrews appeared along with stars like Bob Hope, Rock Hudson, and Annette Funicello as a special guest at the opening of the Walt Disney World Resort.
6. Disney Legend
The Disney Legend award was instituted in 1987 and four years later, Andrews become only the second on screen talent given the honor.
7. The Princess Diaries
Andrews returned to Disney in the 2001 and 2004 films ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘The Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement’. She acted in the role as Queen Clarisse Renaldi, grandmother to Mia Thermopolis (portrayed by Anne Hathaway). For her role in the first film, she received a nomination for Favorite Movie Actress at the Kids’ Choice Awards.
In 2003, Andrews appeared in Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime, live action films for Walt Disney Television. Andrews played the role of nanny and earned an Emmy nomination for her role in Eloise at Christmastime.
9. The Happiest Homecoming on Earth
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, Disney hosted an 18 month celebration known as the Happiest Homecoming on Earth. Andrews served as the official ambassador for the event, speaking at a celebration held on May 5 and providing the narration for “Remember…Dreams Come True” the fireworks spectacular described as an ‘E ticket Attraction in the sky.’
A year after the Happiest Homecoming celebration ended, Andrews provided the narration for Enchanted, a live action film that incorporate elements of animation.