Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Home: By Julie Andrews

I have to say I absolutely loved "Home". It was the first autobiography I read and it has probably got me unhealthily hooked. I am now nearly finished with "The Lonely life" by the one and only Bette Davis, who sounds like my kind of person. She finishes every other sentence with an exclamation mark, and writes "Ha!" lots. She also dedicated a chapter of about four pages to putting down Hollywood leading men.

I really liked Julie andrews before I read this book, but after reading it you can really tell what a sweet person she is. It made me so upset when her husband Blake Edwards died in December. It says on the cover sleeve that she is now "happily married with her director husband of 38 (I think) years, Blake Edwards". She had a tough upbringing. Born in 1935, she was around just in time to have to be evacuated for most of the war. She was born to a pianist and a teacher (wait for the serious surprise). Always very close to her father, she would dance around the garden withe him telling her about all sorts of bugs and creepy crawlies. He read poetry and he was lovely to her mother and little brother. Her mother repaid him by having an affair and becoming pregnant with tenor Ted Andrews. Julie's mother moved away with Ted to London to better their careers. It was while singing in their act that Julie was discovered and put in her first variety show, "Starlight Roof". She excelled as "The prodigy in pigtails who hit an F above high C at age 12!" She became the youngest performer to lead the Royal Variety show finale, and played many principle girl parts in countless pantomimes.
Julie, her mother and her step-father
At age fourteen, she was taken by her mother (still married to her now alcoholic step-father) to a man's house for dinner. She sang for him and his guests and at the end of the evening it was clear that her mother was not fit to drive. In the car on the way home, her mother said that she had something very serious to tell her. The man that she had known as her father all her life was not her actual father. The host of the party was. Her father had known all about it, but agreed to take the girl and her mother back. This, understandably must have scarred her for life. She never got to know her father. She didn't want to, and she didn't have to. She knew all she wanted to about him.

At age 18 she was approached about starring in the Broadway production of West End hit, "The Boyfriend". She was overwhelmed, but also quite nervous about leaving her unstable family. She did it none the less. Her family needed supporting and her parents were getting no work in their advancing state of alcoholism. She moved to New York and was a great success in "The Boyfriend." So much so that she was offered the main part in the new musical of Pygmalion, "My Fair lady". this lead her to even greater things, like a part in "Camelot", with Richard Burton.
She was by then married to her long term beau, the set designer Tony Walton. She had her first child with him, Emma. She was also offered the part of Mary Poppins around the same time, and the rest, as they say, is history.

This book was only the first part of her memoirs, and she has yet to publish the second half. HURRY UP JULIE!!! I NEED MORE INFO ON THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE AND STAR!!!!!! I just adored it. There were some slightly slow sections but it didn't bother me. She wrote it really well, and you really sympathise with her and her troubles. Yay for Julie Andrews!



Frl. Irene Palfy said...

I want to read this book - now even more. Thank you for sharing!

Libby said...

Reading autobiographies is a real eye-opener. This looks like a wonderful book and she looks like such a strong woman.

Page said...

I to love a great autobiography. I'm revisiting a few I have for research but at the same time looking for new ones to hit the shelves.

Thanks for the great write up on the book Becky.

Anonymous said...

I did a huge research project on her this year. The book WAS extremely helpful, and I found stuff in it that wasn't in any other books. I like her pure honesty in it. :)

Joyce said...

After seeing the Sound Of Music, I was just wild about Julie. Then I heard about her 'potty mouth' and was disturbed,as 'who is this woman'? Does she explain this in her book? Does it continue today?
Now that I am older, I am back to loving Julie.

Potyidanon said...

I want to read this book now!But in Hungary I doesn't find everywhere... :/

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