Saturday, January 26, 2019

My Love for Julie Andrews

A few days ago, entertainment news outlets online reported that actress Anne Hathaway read a screenplay for THE PRINCESS DIARIES 3. She's eager to do it. Julie Andrews, her costar in the previous two installments, is also eager to do it. THE PRINCESS DIARIES 3 would get my money at the box office in a heartbeat. I love me some Julie Andrews. I have for most of my life. I feel that the Universe knew we needed the Broadway star's radiant light and talent on the big screen and when we needed it.  Her first film, and the film that brought her the Oscar for Best Actress, was Disney's colossal hit, MARY POPPINS.
Released in the summer of 1964, her performance as the mysterious nanny in that now classical musical fantasy centered on family love was exactly the tonic America needed to revive and restore us from our four days of shock, horror and national grief in November 1963. Those four days were from the bulletin the President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas to the President Kennedy's majestic and heartbreakingly unforgettable funeral. MARY POPPINS let us little kids and our parents know that it was alright to smile and laugh again in a world that had grown suddenly dark. In 1965, the healing and light continued. THE SOUND OF MUSIC was released. This family film, a musical, was an enormous box office hit, a hit that brought Julie Andrews her second Oscar nomination for Best Actress. She was definitely a Hollywood star.
She was still a star in the 1970s but Hollywood and society had changed.  Big screen musicals weren't as popular as they had been. Julie Andrews went to network television. She had a weekend one-hour prime time show on ABC called THE JULIE ANDREWS HOUR. She had all sorts of guests on this music variety show -- while it lasted. You could feel that network executives were determined to bring her image out of Disney and the Austrian alps by showing she could get down with a funky beat.

Back in the early 70s, I saw a behind-the-scenes feature on Julie Andrews tirelessly toiling like a trouper to put that network show over. She was rehearsing a number she'd done in the deluxe Fox flop, 1968's STAR! One the whole, the biopic of famed Broadway star Gertrude Lawrence didn't work but her performance did. On her network show, she made a self-deprecating funny comment about the film's unfortunate box office appeal. During the rehearsal of the complicated song and dance number, she had to do it again. She was obviously exhausted. She said, "Either you want too much or I have too little." Then she got on with it.
I never forgot that comment of hers. As I grew up and got older, also working in the entertainment business and often rehearsing business for shows that wouldn't click with the public, I found myself repeating that Julie Andrews comment before I got on with it. I've said it quite frequently in the last ten years of job hunting:  "Either you want too much or I have too little."

To me, Dame Julie Andrews is a role model of perseverance.  Here's a sample of her trying to attract new viewers to ABC with a new beat on 1973's THE JULIE ANDREWS HOUR.
The show was canceled. But things turned out just fine for Julie. She went on to show us her saucy screwball comedy skills in a gender bender story that brought her a third Oscar nomination for Best Actress -- Blake Edwards' 1982 hit, VICTOR/VICTORIA.
I was lucky enough to meet and interview Julie Andrews once in my career.  I was new to New York City and working of WPIX/Channel 11. There was a junket for the  1986 movie, THAT'S LIFE! All of us in place to interview Dame Julie were a bit nervous. We loved her, but we wondered if we had the proper Buckingham Palace-like manners for her. Before I entered the room for my few interview minutes, the film's publicist pulled me aside and said that I did not have to treat her like she was a prissy, pomp and circumstance lady.

So, with the publicist in the room with us and the cameras rolling, I began with "Miss Andrews, can you confirm or deny a rumor for me? Is it true that you slept with the director and writer of THAT'S LIFE while making the film?"

She let out a hearty belly laugh. The film was written and directed by her husband, Blake Edwards. For those few minutes, Julie Andrews was everything I'd ever hoped she would be. And more.  By the way, her answer to the rumor was "Yes, I did."

11 comments:

  1. I love her so much! She's my favorite performer. And as a singer, she is UNIQUE! I am currently reading a book: "Julie Andrews, an intimate biography" by Richard Stirling. I have already read her biography "Home A Memoir of My Early Years" but it is delightful to read what others think of her, and some other details that I guess she doesn't include in her book because she's so humble and down to earth! She's really a very beautiful woman inside out!

    ReplyDelete
  2. buy perfumes online uae the rose flavor, the original spirit of oud, musk, amber, and sandalwood are the oriental tunes in the perfumes of Faisal Al-Nafe’e. The splendor and charm are the western touches and the "French and Italian" flavors

    ReplyDelete
  3. A evident window tumbler certainly tempts one, but it may possibly seem hazardous to freshen up the windows your self. However, considering the right display cleaning skills and maintaining products, it is easy to achieve an important spotless finish onto your window tumbler. If you have got failed frequency to buy a streak-free display, then that upcoming bits of advice would fulfil your attempts, this precious time. maid services dubai

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists. 넷마블가입코드

    ReplyDelete
  5. I couldn’t have really asked for a more rewarding blog. You’re there to give excellent suggestions, going directly to the point for simple understanding of your target audience. You’re surely a terrific expert in this subject. Thank you for remaining there human beings like me. 사설토토

    ReplyDelete
  6. There’s noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made sure good points in features also. 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  7. I feel a lot more people need to read this, very good info!  부천휴게텔

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  9. If your looking for Online Illinois license plate sticker renewals then you have need to come to the right place.We offer the fastest Illinois license plate sticker renewals in the state. 프리미어리그중계

    ReplyDelete
  10. This was among the best posts and episode from your team it let me learn many new things 슬롯사이트

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very well written story. It will be useful to everyone who utilizes it, as well as myself. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts 홀덤사이트

    ReplyDelete

Denzel Does Shakespeare

The New York Film Festival is underway at Lincoln Center in New York City. This is like free tickets to and free rides in Disneyland for fil...