On June 9, 2022, the American Film Institute (AFI) presented the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award to Julie Andrews at a Gala Tribute in the heart of Hollywood.

Academy Award® winner and 2022 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal recipient Siân Heder, Carol Burnett, Steve Carell, Bo Derek, Héctor Elizondo, Cynthia Erivo, Jane Seymour, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Brandi Burkhardt and cast members from THE SOUND OF MUSIC – Angela Cartwright, Duane Chase, Nicholas Hammond, Kym Karath and Debbie Turner, came together to honor Ms. Andrews’ incredible career and celebrate the joy she has brought to audiences around the world.

When one thinks of Dame Julie Andrews, DBE, one thinks of musical theater, not science fiction and fantasy. But Dame Julie, who was just awarded the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award, has more Geek Cred in her resume than you might suspect.

Julia Elizabeth Wells was born October 1, 1935 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England. When she went into vaudeville as a child performer, she took her stepfather’s name and became Julie Andrews. Her first film was voicing Princess Zeila in the English version of Die Rose von Bagdad (1949), also released as The Singing Princess. Her first live-action film was Disney’s Mary Poppins (1964), for which shewon an Oscar for Best Actress.

Does Julie Andrews Have Geek Cred? Judge for Yourself!

She provided her voice for:

  • Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins (1964) She starred as the magical nanny.
  • Cinderella in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1957 ) Almost a decade before Lesley Ann Warren and Stusrt Damon filmed the quintessential version of Cinderella Julie Andrews and Jon Cypher performed in a live television production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein adaptation of the classic French fairy tale.
  • In Shrek I I(2004) and (Shrek the Third (2007) and Shrek Forever After (2010) Dame Julie voiced the queen, Princess Fiona’s mother
  • The narrator in Disney’s Enchanted (2007)
  • Lily in Disney’s live action Tooth Fairy (2010)
  • Gru’s mother in the Despicable Me franchise
  • The voice of the Karathen, the leviathan that guarded King Atlan’s tomb, in Aquaman (2018)
  • Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton.
  • Narrator in The King’s Daughter (2022).

For her most recent film, the recently released Minions: the Rise of Gru (2022), she reprises the role of Gru’s mother.

More Mundane Roles

There is little mundane about Dame Julie Andrews, but she was performed in many movies that are not of our genre.

  • Emily Barham in The Americanization of Emily (1964)
  • Maria in The Sound of Music (1965)
  • Sarah Sherman in Alfred Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain (1966)
  • Jerusha Bromley in Hawaii (1966)
  • Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
  • Gertrude Lawrence in Star (1968)
  • Lili Smith in Darling Lili (1970)
  • Judith Farrow in The Tamarind Seed (1974)
  • Victoria Grant & Count Victor Grazinski in Victor/Victoria (1982)
  • Ethel Thater in On Golden Pond (2001)
  • Queen Clarisse of Genovia, Mia’s grandmother in The Princess Diaries (2001) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)

And of course, she’s had dozens of roles on stage on both Broadway and in London including Guinevere in Camelot, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Polly Browne in The Boy Friend, and many others.

Honors and Awards

As fine a performer as she is, Julie Andrews has accumulated quite a shelf full of awards.

  • She was named a Disney Legend by Walt Disney Studios in 1991.
  • Queen Elizabreth knighted her in 2000, creating her a Dame commander of the Order of the British Empire,
  • Although Dame Julie has not yet achieved EGOT status (she’s only 86, give her time), she has been nominated foe Emmies, Oscars, Grammies, and Tonys.
  • In a 2002 poll by the BBC of 100 Greatest Britons, she was voted #59 by the British public.
  • In 1992, the Chelsea Flower Show named an orangeish-pink rose after her, which she found quite flattering.
  • Her performance in Victor/Victoria earned Dame Julie her third Oscar nomination and won her a Golden Globe Award.

Her co-star Hector Elizondo described her as the embodiment of grace and civility. These are two qualities that seem to be in short supply in the 21st century, so we can be grateful to Dame Julie for reminding us of them. At the ceremony for the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, her colleagues and co-stars were unanimous in describing her as a consummate professional and a nice lady.

Wife, Mother, and Author

Dame Julie has been married twice and has five children. She was married to costume and set designer Tony Walton from 1959 to 1968; they divorced. She was then married director Blake Edwards. They were together from 1969 until his death in 2010.She has written over twenty books, mostly children’s books and two autobiographies. Some of her books were co-written with her eldest daughter, Emma Walton farHamilton.

Thus far Dame Julie has six Golden Globe Awards, two Emmy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, three Grammy Awards, one Oscar, and two Lifetime Achievement Awards, one in 2022 from the American Film Institute, and another in 2007 from the Screen Actors Guild. She, of course, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, When you’re Julie Andrews, that sort of comes with the territory.

Dame Julie is also Dr. Andrews, she has received honorary doctorates from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Three cheers for Dame Julie Andrews, international superstar, and winner of the AFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award! The honor, like her many previous awards and nominations is well-deserved.

-30-

Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.