Julie Andrews is an English film and stage actress, a singer, an author, a theatre director, and a dancer.
Andrews’ stepfather sponsored lessons for her, first at the Cone-Ripman School, an independent arts educational school in London, then with concert soprano and voice instructor Madame Lilian Stiles-Allen.
After Cone-Ripman School, Andrews continued her academic education at the nearby Woodbrook School, a local state school in Beckenham.
Turns out Julie Andrews was an incredible singer from an early age.
Beginning in 1945, and for the next two years, Julie Andrews performed spontaneously and unbilled on stage with her parents. She would stand on a beer crate to sing into the microphone, sometimes a solo or as a duet with her stepfather, while her mother played piano.
Julie Andrews gained her big break when her stepfather introduced her to Val Parnell, whose Moss Empires controlled prominent venues in London. Andrews made her professional solo debut at the London Hippodrome singing the difficult aria “Je suis Titania” from Mignon as part of a musical revue called “Starlight Roof” on 22 October 1947.
The songstress, best known for playing a “practically perfect” nanny in “Mary Poppins” and the troublesome Maria in “The Sound of Music,” made a royal splash at 13 years old when she sang the British National Anthem at the 1948 Royal Command Performance at London’s Palladium.
The young Andrews doesn’t miss a beat in front of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth was so impressed with the performance that she later told Andrews, “You sang beautifully tonight.”
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