Julie Andrews to be honored in L.A.

Mon May 2, 2011 2:06am EDT
 
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By Les Spindle

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - More than six decades after her professional debut in 1947, Julie Andrews remains popular with all generations.

She cut her performing teeth in her native England, appearing in concerts and vaudeville and on radio programs, becoming widely renowned for a unique voice that spanned four octaves. She went on to stardom in films, theater, television, and recordings. On Monday, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles will honor Andrews at a fundraiser.

Andrews, 75, recently shared with Back Stage recollections from her career and lessons she has learned in her creative journey.

YOU'VE HAD SUCH A DIVERSE CAREER, GATHERING SO MANY ACCOLADES. WHEN YOU WERE A YOUNG PERFORMER IN ENGLAND, DID YOU ASPIRE TO SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WERE TO COME?

I think the things that happened were mostly beyond my wildest dreams. Who could have imagined that life would have taken such marvelous twists and turns or that I would often be so fortunate to be in the right place at the right time? Performing is always a learning process, even today.

WHAT IN YOUR EARLY TRAINING PREPARED YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES?

I'm never sure one is exactly ready. You jump in, with both feet, into a very big fish pond. But I think the early years were all about beginning to learn some disciplines. When you are traveling in vaudeville, you experience so many different kinds of audiences, depending on what time of the week it is, how long the pubs have been open, and things like that. But it wasn't until years later that I discovered what a great foundation I had. It certainly enabled me to get up and sing on a stage. That's what I was primarily known for in those days.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR BIGGEST CAREER BREAKTHROUGHS -- IN THE EARLY YEARS AND BEYOND?   Continued...

 
<p>Lifetime achievement award recipient Julie Andrews attends the Recording Academy Special Merit Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles February 12, 2011. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>