From Mary Poppins to The Princess Diaries, it’s hard to beat the triple-threat talent that is Julie Andrews.
Working alongside superstars like Christopher Plummer, Dick van Dyke, and the legendary Carol Channing, the great creative Julie Andrews has long solidified her presence in the hall of entertainment legends.
But even the most hardcore Sound of Music fans might be surprised to learn a few of this little-known facts about Julie Andrews.
Think you have what it takes to pass the ultimate Julie Andrews trivia test? Putting together a Julie Andrews-themed party for a friend, and want to make your own Julie Andrews bingo board for an awesome game?
You’d better make sure you know these things about everyone’s favorite star first.
1. She has her own Rose
It’s only fitting that someone as sweet as Julie Andrews has their own flower.
In 1992, a new rose in a salmon pink color was bred specifically to honor the star. It also paid tribute to her starring turn in My Fair Lady, in which she played the iconic, career-making role of Eliza Doolittle.
Before she meets Professor Henry Higgins to be “transformed” into a lady (luckily, the revival has more of a feminist ending) she works as a poor rose seller.
The rose was created to reflect this character, as well as to honor the countless career accomplishments of Ms. Andrews herself.
2. She Loves Funny Women
Think that Julie Andrews sees her fellow actresses as competition? Under the impression that Ms. Andrews’ insane work ethic must make her more than a little uptight?
In fact, one of her best friends is the legendary comedienne Carol Burnett.
They’ve performed at Carnegie Hall together, and have made countless appearances together over the years.
Their friendship is so strong that Ms. Andrews even asked Ms. Burnett to serve as her daughter’s godmother.
So, there’s certainly no rivalry between the two here!
In fact, the two were so close that many people believed that they were engaged in a secret relationship, something the two of them found hilarious and often played up for fun.
3. Her Childhood was no Picnic
Life wasn’t easy for young Julie Andrews. In fact, she wasn’t even born an Andrews, but instead went by the name of Julia Elizabeth Wells.
She grew up in a slum in London, towards the end of and directly after World War Two. This meant that she had to survive on rations and often went hungry.
She also suffered from severe anxiety.
To make matters worse, she was raised by an incredibly physically abusive stepfather — though this is also what led her to see theatre as an escape.
So, Ms. Andrews’ happy and light demeanor certainly wasn’t something she always had.
4. She Almost Wasn’t Mary Poppins
We know that it’s difficult to image the role of Mary Poppins being played by anyone other than Julie Andrews.
However, many people are shocked when they find out that she wasn’t always so keen on the role.
Because what Julie Andrews really wanted was to play the role of Eliza Doolittle in the film.
However, Walt Disney himself stepped in.
He actually promised Ms. Andrews that if she was cast in the film as Eliza Doolittle, he would wait to start filming Mary Poppins until she finished shooting My Fair Lady.
However, as we all know, Ms. Andrews ended up losing the part to another iconic actress – Audrey Hepburn.
5. Maria von Trapp Didn’t Earn her an Oscar
One of the most common misconceptions about Julie Andrews?
That her unforgettable turn as the nun turned music teacher Maria von Trapp earned her an Oscar.
In fact, although many of us are unable to get her Sound of Music songs out of our heads to this day, the role didn’t get her an Oscar.
So, what did?
That would be the role of Mary Poppins. The Oscar was awarded to her by the legendary Sidney Poitier. She gave a special thanks to Walt Disney and his vision in her acceptance speech.
6. She Entertained the Sound of Music Cast
Even on a set that’s as much fun as the Sound of Music, working with so many children was tiring for everyone.
Often, Ms. Andrews stepped in to ensure that morale was kept high during long shoots and that the children were always distracted to avoid complaining.
So, how did she do it?
She actually sang them songs from Mary Poppins between takes.
Because the movie hadn’t yet been released, all of the Von Trapp child actors thought that she had invented the songs for them.
To see what the entire Von Trapp crew looks like today, be sure that you take the time to check out the above link.
7. She has two Adopted Daughters
Not many people are aware that Ms. Andrews has two adopted daughters in addition to her daughter from her first marriage.
When she married for the second time, she and her husband Blake Edwards made the choice to adopt two children from Vietnam, right in the aftermath of the war.
Andrews has said that she suspects the adoption process was easier than average not because of her star power, but really because of the war-torn state of the country.
Think You Know All About Julie Andrews?
The next time that you hear someone talking about Julie Andrews — or stating an incorrect fact — make sure that you use the information in this post to steer them on the right path.
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