Oct 1, 2007

She Must've Done Something Good

The venerable Dame Julie Andrews, 1960s film phenomenon, accomplished soloist, and wife of veteran director Blake Edwards, turns 72 today. Happy birthday, Fraulein Maria!

Julie made her film debut in 1964's Mary Poppins, for which she won an Oscar; her best-known role, that of impetuous postulant Maria in the unforgettable The Sound of Music, came just a year later. She married Edwards in 1969 and the two formed a formidable film force, along with famed composer and frequent collaborator Henry Mancini, to create intriguing, esoteric movies as vehicles to showcase Edwards' gift for scripts and the musical abilities of Andrews and Mancini. 1970's Darling Lili, 1981's S.O.B., and the blockbuster hit Victor/Victoria, later revived for a Broadway tour, are prime examples of the couple's colorful collaborations.

A routine surgical operation in 1998 left Andrews with damaged vocal chords, culminating in the loss of her famous voice - but she has allowed this startling change to channel her creativity in new directions, namely, the line of children's books she co-authors with daughter Emma Walton and the numerous feature films she's starred in as of late.


I had the distinct privilege of seeing Jules in person at a tribute to Edwards' work at my alma mater - I didn't meet her, just stared unabashedly - and she is absolutely the epitome of elegance one would expect; I've gotta wish her an extra happy birthday just for keeping that old Hollywood glamour alive and well.

I definitely recommend you pop in some Thoroughly Modern Millie in honor of L'Andrews. Carol Channing in a cannon, anyone?!

Happy Birthday, Dame Julie.

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