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She's an academy award winning actress and singer – Dame Julie Andrews is the archetypal musical theatre star, known for her role as the singing nun in “The Sound of Music” (1965). Still popular today, this was one of the biggest box office successes of all time and the highest grossing movie of its day.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/14/andrews.art.jpg caption="Julie Andrews celebrating over 50 years in musical theatre."]
Starting out on the vaudeville stage, Andrews was discovered as a child to have an incredibly rare range: able to sing four-octaves.
While she played the original Eliza Dolittle in the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady", Audrey Hepburn played the part in the movie My Fair Lady (1964). The studio executives did not want Andrews because she hadn't had any experience in film and thought Hepburn would be the better choice.
Meanwhile – that same year – Andrews accepted the role of Mary Poppins in the Disney film alongside Dick Van Dyk – for which she scooped a best actress academy award.
Sadly, an operation on her vocal chords left her voice badly damaged in 1998.
No longer able to take singing roles, Andrews went on to star in the Princess Diaries and Shrek, proving that even without her singing ability – she is one of the most loved actresses of her generation.
While co-authoring children's book 'Simeon's Gift' with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, Andrews has worked hard to recover her famous voice, and will return to the stage after 30 years absence with a comeback musical performance in May 2010.
The 74-year-old Oscar winner and five other performers will wend their way through some of the greatest musical theatre songs of the last 50 years, many of which Andrews made famous.
If you have any questions for Dame Julie Andrews – send them to her here and we’ll put a selection of them to her on Tuesday’s show.