It's hard to believe, but the ever-youthful and charming Dame Julie Andrews is celebrating her 80th birthday on October 1. Her incredible career has spanned many decades, and as the saying goes, she's not just getting older, she's getting better!
I will never forget seeing her as the feisty nanny in Mary Poppins. The story of a magical nanny who has a different way of keeping the kids entertained quite literally captivated me. I was 6 years old, and back in 1963 there were no Disney Stores where you could just stop in and buy a Mary Poppins outfit, so I improvised. I started wearing my mother's apron, using an English accent and bossing the neighborhood kids around. I knew the words to every song and drove my parents crazy singing "Supercalifragilistiexpialiedocious." She was my muse.
And who hasn't sung and/or acted out "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music when leaving a party? The story of the von Trapp family and their escape from Austria during the Nazi occupation is a charming story full of song and hope.
Her family-oriented musicals are my favorites, but she also has a bawdy side that's on full display in Victor/Victoria. An impoverished female singer can't get a job so she masquerades as a man and is hired as a female impersonator—confusion and hilarity ensue.
More recently, she has been the voices of characters in Shrek and Despicable Me. She's also written a number of children's books and Home, an autobiography focusing on her childhood in England and the years leading up to her stardom in the United States.
She is one busy lady. So happy birthday, Julie, you have always been one of my favorite things!