Dame Julie Andrews is best known for her impressive career on stage and screen, her trademark four-octave singing voice, and her elegance and regal demeanor that gives off the air of real-life royalty. Still, it feels like we haven’t heard from this legendary performer in a while. So, how is Julie Andrews doing these days? We dive into her life, career, and health.
Julie Andrews Turns 87 In 2022
Andrews was born on October 1st, 1935, and she’s still going strong in 2022. Later this year, she will celebrate her 87th birthday. Though her career has been enough to keep anyone busy, she managed to also find the time to be a mother to her three children and two step-children. She also had a happy 41-year marriage to her late husband, accomplished film director and screenwriter, Blake Edwards. She now has nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Julie Andrews’ Career Began Over 75 Years Ago
Andrews has had a very full career that has lasted over 75 years. As a young girl, she discovered her beautiful and unique four-octave singing voice. In 1954, she made her Broadway debut with “The Boy Friend.” Just two years later, the role of Eliza Doolittle in the hit musical, “My Fair Lady,” made her a star. Her career continued to blossom with TV roles over the following few years. In 1963, Walt Disney himself asked Andrews to star in his upcoming musical, Mary Poppins, alongside Dick Van Dyke.
Andrews continued to rack up more Broadway credits until the premiere of her starring role in the famous movie musical, The Sound of Music in 1965. At the time, The Sound of Music was the highest-grossing film of its day. Today, it still remains one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
Her career has been packed with awards, accolades, and honors that prove her unparalleled talent and success. She has been honored with an Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, a British Academy Film Award, and a whopping six Golden Globe Awards, among many others. She is also a Disney Legend, and Queen Elizabeth II made her a dame as a tribute to her career in the performing arts.
Is She Still In Good Health?
Tragically, in the late ‘90s, Andrews lost one of the things that made her the most famous: her singing voice. In 1997, she underwent throat surgery to remove a small cyst that had developed on her vocal cord. The surgery was botched and left her with vocal cord damage, hoarseness, and other complications. She’s never fully recovered from this.
In September 2000, Andrews won a malpractice lawsuit against her doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital. Of course, this didn’t stop her from suffering from depression in the wake of her lost voice. “I went into a depression. It felt like I’d lost my identity,” she told AARP in 2019.
Still, in spite of the devastating loss of her singing voice, Andrews is in otherwise good health at age 86.
Is She Still Acting Today?
Andrews’s career took a turn when she lost the use of her singing voice. But, she wasn’t anywhere close to finishing making the world happy through her art. “By good fortune that’s when my daughter Emma and I had been asked to write books for kids,” she told AARP. “So along came a brand-new career in my mid-60s. Boy, was that a lovely surprise.”
As it turns out, Andrews has found great success as an author. She has written 36 children’s books under her married name as either Julie Andrews Edwards or Julie Edwards. In 2011, Andrews won a Grammy award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for her narration of Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies. She has also written two autobiographies: Home: A Memoir of My Early Years in 2008 and Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years in 2019.
Even as she has turned her focus to writing, acting has never been totally out of the picture for the star. In 2001, she co-starred with Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries, which made way for a second wind for her career in movies. More recently, she has taken on more voice acting roles such as Queen Lillian in the Shrek franchise, Marlena in the Despicable Me franchise, and Lady Whistledown in Netflix’s Bridgerton.
It seems like there’s nothing Andrews can’t do, and she does it all extremely well. According to her, “I’d love to be able to paint. I’d love to be a good cook, but I’m rotten. I don’t have the patience for it. But I have to say, I’m a very good whistler. A lot of singers are.”