Julie Andrews is the last of the great Hollywood musical stars, unequaled by any in her time.
In My Fair Lady, Julie Andrews had the biggest hit on Broadway. As the title character in Mary Poppins, she won an Academy Award. And, in 1965, The Sound of Music made her the most famous woman in the world and rescued Twentieth Century Fox from bankruptcy. Three years later, the disastrous Star! almost put the studio back under, and the leading lady of both films fell as spectacularly as she had risen.
Her film career seemed over.
Yet Julie Andrews survived, with what Moss Hart, director of My Fair Lady, called ''that terrible British strength that makes you wonder why they lost India.'' Victor/Victoria, directed by her second husband, Blake Edwards, reinvented her screen image---but its stage version in 1997 led to the devastating loss of her defining talent, her singing voice.
Against all odds, she has fought back again, with leading roles in The Princess Diaries and Shrek 2. The real story of bandy-legged little Julia Wells from Walton-on-Thames is even more extraordinary; fresh details of her family background have only recently come to light.
This is the first completely new biography of Julie Andrews as artist, wife, and mother in over thirty-five years---combining the author's interviews with the star and his wide-ranging and riveting research. It is a frank but affectionate portrait of an enduring icon of stage and screen, who was made a Dame in the Millenium Honours List.
Once dubbed ''the last of the really great broads'' by Paul Newman, she was the only actress in the 2002 BBC poll The 100 Greatest Britons. But who was Dame Julie, and who is she now?
This is her story.