Julie Andrews, the Academy Award-winning star of movie classics The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, has her second memoir out on Tuesday. In Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (Hachette Books), she talks about her movie career, her learning curve, and the challenges of doing the Poppins flying scenes. Written with daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, the book has several confessions from the star, not all of them flattering
Among the book’s revelations:
- In her teenage years, she discovered her biological father was a family friend with whom her mother had had an affair. She also notes that her parents were alcoholics, and that her stepfather, Ted Andrews, tried twice to get into bed with her. She fitted a lock on her bedroom door to end his attempts.
- Her first on-screen love scene in the film The Americanization Of Emily was with James Garner. She was so nervous that her legs buckled after the scene was over.
- One of her most famous scenes, the twirl in the meadow during The Sound of Music, saw her knocked to the ground nine times by the filming helicopter’s backwash.
- Andrews admits she swears a lot, and when, in Mary Poppins, she was attached to a flywire that failed, sending her to the turf “like a ton of bricks,” she said “a few words that Uncle Walt (Disney) had not heard very often.”
- Andrews’s marriage was failing as she was making The Sound of Music. She saw a psychoanalyst and briefly thought about giving up acting and singing. But as she was leaving the therapist’s office one day, she met her next husband, Blake Edwards, driving a Rolls. “He was devastatingly funny, wicked even, but there was something dangerous about him,” she said. He was 13 years her senior and the courted over two years before they married in 1969 and had five children.