Julie Andrews: Biography, Movies, Books & Awards

Instructor: Colleen Cleveland

Colleen has taught college level Game Development and Graphic Design and has a Master's in Interactive Entertainment and Masters in Media Psychology.

Read on to learn more about the fascinating life of star of stage and screen, Julie Andrews. We'll explore her life in the spotlight as an award-winning actress and author.


Chances are at some point in your life you've heard the lyrics, Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. When you hear those lyrics, you probably think of the musical they belong to, The Sound of Music. You may also associate them with a young starlet with a British accent, Julie Andrews.

Born in Surrey, England, in 1935, Julia Elizabeth Wells followed her parents as a young star of stage. Upon being adopted by her stepfather, Ted Andrews, she changed her name to Julie Andrews. Andrews soon became a star around Britain and even performed for royalty. In the 1950s, Julie Andrews sought out the bright lights of Broadway in New York.

On Broadway, Andrews piloted her career with a role in The Boy Friend. This led her to playing more recognizable roles we commonly associate with her today, such as the crass, or unrefined, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. The foul-mouthed Eliza Doolittle led Julie Andrews to a Tony Award nomination for best actress.


One of the more major movie roles that Julie Andrews is recognized for is The Sound of Music. In it, she played a nun and governess named Maria who falls in love with the widower Von Trapp and his seven children. Another Disney role Andrews is well known for is the beloved Mary Poppins, who takes the Banks children on magical adventures in the eponymous film. In animated movies, she had her hand in as the voice of the Queen and mother of Fiona in Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third.

Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins


In 2008, Julie Andrews wrote a book on her life entitled, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years. Andrews has written approximately 25 books. Many of them are children's books, such as Dumpy's Apple Shop and Little Bo in France: The Further Adventures of Bonnie Boadicea.


Julie Andrews has received quite a number of awards in her lifetime. Starting in 1955, she won the Theatre World Award for The Boy Friend. From there on, she received multiple Emmy and Tony award nominations for her acting abilities.

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