Julie Andrews, Child Star of Music Hall

Andrews with her performing mother and stepfather

Tribute today to universally-beloved singer-actress Julie Andrews (born 1935). Her stage and screen career is well known. We would just like to point out today the lesser known fact that she is a second-generation music hall entertainer, and that she began performing as a child, making her professional debut at age ten. This would make her among the last of the English music hall stars, properly speaking. By age twelve she got her first solo booking at the London Hippodrome and the following year her first Royal Command Performance, appearing on a bill with Danny Kaye and the Nicholas Brothers. From there it was television, the West End, Broadway, Hollywood, and her long marriage and collaboration with Blake Edwards. Perhaps the most tangible modern evidence of her lifelong and early connection to the British variety theatre is Star!, her 1968 love poem to the career of Gertrude Lawrence, one of my favorite movie musicals. A long and healthy life, Dame Julia!

To find out more about the variety arts, including English music hall, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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