Julie Andrews

An Intimate Biography

Richard Stirling

St. Martin's Press

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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.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

 

Weather and Tide Permitting

 

Julia Elizabeth Wells entered the world at six o"clock in the morning of Tuesday 1 October 1935, at Rodney House Maternity Home, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. The healthy eight-pound baby, named after her grandmothers Julia Morris and Elizabeth Wells, was born under the star sign of the Balancing Scales, indicating what she later defined to me as her "typically Libran" ambivalence. Other characteristics – ruthless objectivity, a horror of confrontation, maintaining a positive outlook – would not be long in

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Reviews

Praise for Julie Andrews

“Julie Andrews is, quite simply, a phenomenon. She has probably brought more joy to more people than any other star of her generation.” —Richard Attenborough

 

“A very well written, meticulously researched, gripping account of Andrews’ extraordinary life and career. . . . Stirling does a superb job of detailing his subject’s rise to major stardom. . . . Full of information that may not be known even to some of Andrews’ staunchest fans . . . very frank in assessing Andrews’ flops and disappointments as well as her hits. . . . This excellent work is probably as ‘intimate’ as any biography of Julie Andrews we can ever hope to read.” —Michael Portantiere, TheaterMania.com

 

“Impressively thorough . . . Stirling compiles an absorbingly extensive study, with glossy photographs and lively quotes bringing the pages alive with the sound of a much-loved musical star.” —Evening Standard (London)

 

“Intelligent and engrossing.” —Roger Lewis, The Mail on Sunday

 

“The book successfully documents and details the professional and personal peaks of her life.” —Publishers Weekly


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About the Author

Richard Stirling

Richard Stirling lives in London. He trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and has appeared on film, television, and the London and American stage. As a writer, his features include articles on Dame Julie Andrews for many British publications; he was also curator of the star’s seventieth birthday film retrospective at the National Film Theatre in 2005.

Richard Stirling

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Available Formats and Book Details

Julie Andrews
An Intimate Biography
Richard Stirling

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
March 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429943871
ISBN10: 1429943874
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 384 pages, Includes eight pages of black-and-white photographs
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
April 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312564988
ISBN10: 0312564988
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages, Includes eight pages of black-and-white photographs
$19.99
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