Today is the birthday of Julia Elizabeth Wells. Or you might know her as Julie Andrews. Or Dame Julie Andrews, if you want to be all formal about it. It's also my birthday, but who cares about that. I'm not big on birthdays. But I do love Julie Andrews and prefer to focus on her today.
Here she is as at 14 or 15. She had quite a set of pipes even when she was young. Mom sent me an Amazon gift certificate today, and one of the things I'm definitely going to get with it is her latest book, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years.
You do know that she was the original Eliza Doolittle, right? But the studio wanted a big name star for the movie version (and she wasn't back then), so Audrey was put in instead. It all worked out though, because then Julie was in Mary Poppins and got an Oscar for her role. Here they are in 1965, Julie was just 29. The Sound of Music came out that same year and there was never any more doubt about her star power.
Wanna hear a funny story about The Sound of Music? From this book, which is to die for if you're a fan of the movie:
Still, if writing "Something Good" was a comparatively easy task, performing it for the movie was not. The gazebo setting had been reassembled back on the Fox lot, and its many glass panels required the director of photography, Ted McCord, to employ complicated lighting effects. He positioned some extremely powerful, old-fashioned Kleig lights to point directly downward along the columns of the gazebo. Unfortunately the Kleig lights worked by shooting carbon arcs against each other and they made a terrible flatulent sound every time they were fired up. This noise sent Andrews into gales of laughter, while Christopher Plummer started giggling at the idea of the Captain and Maria proclaiming their eternal love for each other nose to nose. ... The two of them lost it. Wise called "Cut!" and set up the cameras again. Frrrrrmpff! went the carbon arcs, and the giggling began all over again. Wise called a two-hour lunch break, prevailing upon the actors to curb their "unprofessional idiotic laughing." Once lunch was over, it was back to the set and again the carbon arcs made their flatulent sound. More laughter. Wise, normally the most patient of professionals, threw up his hands--after all, by this time he was behind schedule--and decided to shoot the entire sequence in silhouette, so the camera would not catch his stars' childish misbehavior. It turned out to be a happy accident.
They do seem a bit giggly in that scene. She's such a whiz with comedy too. I love this bit with Carol Burnett:
All I can say is, pray you age this well.
Happy 73rd darling.