JULIE ANDREWS ONLINE

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"To make people laugh is terribly exciting. To make people forget their problems. ever for a second, is a rich feeling; one becomes, somehow, a warm and mellowing part of their lives."

Good Housekeeping
January 1966
By George Christy


Julie Andrews: All The Things I Love Most

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with string- These are a few of my favorite things.... Remember that song from The Sound of Music? In her enormously popular movie, Julie Andrews sings, in an enchanting, diamond-clear voice, of the things a simple convent girl loves best. But what about Julie herself? "My favorite things?" She seemed stunned by the query. "Oh, there are so many. Some are silly, others are exciting. I'll run through the alphabet-that way we'll track down everything I love."

A IS FOR ALDERNEY
"My favorite place-one of the Channel Islands, between England and France, where I own a tiny, weeny fisherman's cottage. Not long ago I was ailing, and a friend insisted, 'There's nothing like sea air to cure a sick lady-come to Alderney.' My husband, Tony Walton, and I listened, and went.

"We bought a hideaway stone cottage-one of three in a row; the walls are almost thicker than the rooms are big. Everything there needs slipcovers or upholstery, but we like it as it is, a jumble of bits and pieces, terribly comfy. A roaring fireplace, chintz-covered armchairs, a secondhand kitchen table painted white.

"When I was expecting our baby, I stayed in Alderney for seven months. I kept a diary, cooked roasts and stews on the old-fashioned stove, waxed the woodwork, shopped-and was spoiled by the islanders.

"I cherish every hour there. In my wallet I carry a color snapshot of the cottage and stare at it like a fool when I yearn to steal away and can't. Alderney is my paradise. When there is rain in England, you can count on the sun in Alderney. Spring arrives two weeks earlier, with windblown meadows of maroon and yellow tulips, blue irises, daffodils dancing on the hills."

B IS FOR BRONZES and BLACK VELVET
"Bronze sculptures talk to me. One by Anna Mahler, which I own, is the essence of innocence: a soulful little girl, high as a thigh-maybe three feet tall, with her head bowed, shoulders narrowed and hands clasped behind her back. Sculptured in a gold-bronze, she typifies the shy grace that's so touching in every child."

"Black velvet arouses memories of a party dress I wore in a movie, The Americanization of Emily. A sheath slim as a pencil, sleeveless, with a deep-V neckline, it's the style I now love best. I've had it copied in clear warm colors and white (I wear white both winter and summer). Whenever I put on one of the copies, I remember the original in black velvet, and wonder if it's the black magic that has brought me such loony luck."

C IS FOR CANDLELIGHT, CARNET DE BAL and CLOVES
"A pair of ivory-tinted candles-that was my first purchase for our new house in California. Candles were the only light we had when we moved in, and we curled our legs around pillows in the parlor and ate big-boy sandwiches by the soft glow of candlelight."

"Carnet de Bal is a musky fragrance, not too sweet or sophisticated. I tire easily of scents, but never of Carnet de Bal. And I like Y, the new perfume created by French designer Yves St. Laurent."

"Cloves are an exotic spice-in a cooky or a mug of mulled holiday wine. One friend gave me a lemon studded with cloves, and I keep it by my bathtub. Lemony cloves-the smell is very refreshing !"

D IS FOR DISNEY, DOUBLE BASS, TUE DICTIONARY GAME
"Walt Disney-I love him dearly. In his own way. he's given as much to the world as a statesman. Oh, he doesn't influence the destiny of nations, but with his genius for entertainment he has touched the hearts of people on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins-they span a lifetime of show-business history.

"Disney is dynamic but gentle, and his work is his life, day and night. He can laugh at himself, too. Only a handful of people know his teasing sense of humor. One day, Mike Nichols, the director of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (a searching movie about a problem marriage), double-dared me to glue a wacky sticker-'Mary Poppins Is a Junkie'-on my station wagon. Well, I did, and Disney saw it. 'Will you please tell Mr. Nichols,' he said, chuck-
ling, 'that Virginia Woolf is a Pollyanna!' Alfred Hitchcock is another film maker with a sense of humor. In fact, he's a confirmed practical joker, as I found out when I worked with him on a new film, a spy thriller called Torn Curtain."

"I ache to play the double bass. After I learned to strum a dozen guitar chords for The Sound of Music, I realized that any instrument I cuddled gave me a mothering feeling. The sound hit me in the stomach like a child. Woodwinds, by contrast, appeal to the mind. But a cello throbs with heart and warmth, and imagine what deep power rumbles in a double bass!"

"Mike Nichols sprang the Dictionary Game on a group one winter night at a party. Whoever is 'it' chooses a bizarre word from the dictionary (like 'serendipity' or 'chiaroscuro'), and announces it to the guests, who write what they think the word means on a slip of paper. The correct definition is mixed in with the wrong entries, and they are all read aloud. You'll hoot at most of the definitions, even the serious ones. Whoever pinpoints the proper definition selects the next word.

"I'm not madly keen on games, but the Dictionary Game taught me unusual words, and now it's a favorite. Generally I revel in good talk at parties, where I learn about other people's jobs, what their lives are like, etc. The more parties I go to, though, the less I like them. The best parties for me include no more than six guests-and lively conversations long into the night."

E IS FOR EMMA and EARLY MORNING
"Emma is a cherub-curly blonde hair, rosebud cheeks, greeny-blue eyes with dark eyelashes and eyebrows-my daughter, who was three on November 27.

"She's a million light years ahead of her mother. Emma's memory always floors me. 'Mummy, isn't that like so-and-so?' she asks, recalling an incident of ages ago. Like her father, who is a designer, she loves to draw-strange, spindly sketches of whatever she sees. Last year Tony took her to the Prado Museum in Madrid. After she studied the huge halls lined with masterpieces, Emma pointed at the tourists and tugged Tony's arm. 'Daddy,' she asked, 'why is everybody coming to see your paintings?' No daughter could pay her father a greater compliment.

"Emma loves to sing, and most of all enjoys a sing-along when we're riding in the car. Home on the Range, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Happy Birthday to Me lead Emma's hit parade at the moment.

"When she isn't singing or sketching, she's busy pulling at her knee socks. Keeping them up is her greatest concern."

"Early mornings in California sparkle. From our house in the canyon we see the street lights of Los Angeles, which are still on at sunrise. The mists are frosty and spangled pink with morning sun."

F IS FOR FLOWERS
"Lilacs and double lilacs-they are the most beautiful of all. Wisteria and lilies-of-the-valley. Prim-roses and bluebells. Shaggy Japanese chrysanthemums with their autumny, peppery smell.

"My first year in New York, I was appearing on Broadway in The Boy Friend. We were paid on Fridays, and by Wednesday of each week I was broke and miserably homesick. So I'd borrow 35r~ to buy a bunch of lilacs, which helped me through Thursday to payday.

"Bluebells evoke England, too, with memories of my father's home in the heart of the Surrey countryside. When the wind blows, the fields of bluebells shimmer like indigo butterflies."

G IS FOR GEORGIAN GOBLETS
"I collect them. Antique silver ones. They don't match, but that's the fun of the collection. Even ice water tastes better in an elegant silver vessel. For my collection I raid junk shops; if the goblets are old and scruffy, I have them resilvered. They make handsome Christmas gifts or wedding presents."

H IS FOR HEIRLOOMS
"As newlyweds, Tony and I window-shopped on New York's Fifth Avenue, where I spied an exquisite smoky-topaz pendant, half-dollar size, in a bucket setting. Of course we couldn't afford it.

"Nine months Later, it was my birthday, and we were strolling along Fifth Avenue. We sauntered into Georg Jensen's, where I had spotted the topaz, and there, gleaming like a dark moon, it lay on a
beautiful black velvet tray. We decided it was meant to be mine, and we bought it-an heirloom-to-he from our first year.

"Another pendant I treasure was given me by the New York company of My Fair Lady. A plain round medallion of pearls and diamonds, it's on a long, thin chain.

"The brooch Tony gave me in lieu of an engagement ring is a tiny gold laurel wreath. When we were married, Tony designed our wedding bands to match."

I IS FOR INDOOR-OUTDOOR ROOM
"I love one room to have an indoorsy-outdoorsy feeling with a see-through door and window walls. In our new house it's the dining room. There we dine at a long refectory table, and from where I sit I can see our huge terrace, which bursts with tropical greenery. The fireplace is at an angle, like a corner cupboard, and there are white beams across the ceiling, a red tile floor, pots of plants.

"The house is fairly new-only four or five years old-modern and snuggled into a canyon in Beverly Hills. We bought it last year, but I'm furnishing it slowly. The living room is still bare, except for a pile of silk pillows, a grand piano and a primitive Polish wood carving on the mantel. I prefer old things and special nubby textures, and I like to scout them myself, but that old devil, time (that is, the lack of it) keeps getting in my way."

J IS FOR JOHN
"My brother, John Wells, two years younger than I, is a jet pilot in the Royal Air Force, just married and stationed in Nigeria. John is dark and handsome, droll and funny. He's my full brother. Actually, my true name is Julia Wells, but that didn't have the right ring for the music hall. Andrews is my stepfather's surname. I have two half-brothers, too-Donald Andrews, 23, a member of the Rhodesian police, and 19-year-old Chris Andrews, who's coming to America soon to study photography-and a half-sister, Celia Wells, 20.

"I've seen John only three times in the past ten years, and I long to hear his giggle, which is the most wonderful throaty chuckle in the world, completely infectious. When I hear him giggling, I giggle too, and we're helpless. He laughs so hard he has to lean against a wall, and very often he'll sink on his knees in a heap.

"Years pass, yet when John and I see each other it seems as though we were together only yesterday."

K IS FOR KATE
"Kate is Emma's middle name. Actually, Emma Kate was to be named Sarah, but she didn't look like a Sarah. She was chubby and comfy. Emma Kate suited her best."

L IS FOR LYRICS and A LEMON LUNCH
"Stephen Sondheim's lyrics are divine. (So are Harold Arlen's and Sheldon Harnick's.) Steve wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Anyone Can Whistle. But my favorite Sondheim lyric is from the song Love, I Hear, from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum:

Love, I hear, makes you sigh a lot.
Also, love I hear makes you weak.
Love, I hear, makes you blush and turns you ashen;
You try to speak with passion-and squeak!"*

"Lemons were the theme of the loveliest lunch in New York while I was performing in Camelot. Our host served lemon soup, shad roe with lemon, lemon soufflé and lemon petits fours. Inspired !"

M IS FOR MUSIC and A MERCEDES (I hope)
"Of all the arts, I respond to music the most: it soothes all aches and fills all gaps. I'm hung up on ballet music-Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet; comforted by Brahms and Ravel; stirred by the piano articulateness of Vladimir Horowitz and Sviatoslav Richter. Lately I'm developing a passion for opera. I adore Turandot.

"Jazz I like: Thelonious Monk, Cannonball Adderley and Art Tatum. The music of Andre Previn cheers me. Rock 'n' roll by the Beatles reaches right down inside.
"Three songs are favorites from My Fair Lady:
Show Me, Wouldn't It Be Loverly, and I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face."

"My great desire is to own a dove-gray, four-door Mercedes 190. I like sitting high at the steering wheel, the solidity and compactness. So many sports cars give me claustrophobia."

N is for NATURE and NAVAJO RUGS
"Spring in England, and autumn in America-they're my seasons.

"The fresh buoyant air on a clear spring day holds such incredible promise. Greening English earth is usually the greenest green, and everything blossoms, including my skin.

"I guess I have an autumnal soul, since I love the fall most of all, its sweet sadness and nostalgia, the tumble of crimson and gold colors in America. I was born in autumn on the first of October; maybe this is why I feel it so deeply."

"If happiness is a warm blanket, then bliss is a Navajo rug. Along La Cienega Boulevard Los Angeles is my favorite shop, The 49 Steps, with fine Navajo throws amid a hodgepodge of hammered silver necklaces, turquoise brooches, African masks. I bought a Navajo rug for Christmas; each month of the year is depicted with fascinating Indian symbols. It hangs on my wall, it's that decorative."

O is for ONCE AND FUTURE KING and a wise old OWL
"The musical Camelot is based on T. H. White's book, The Once and Future King, which covers practically every subject from love to ideals, family and tradition, etc. One character, Merlin, expounds my favorite philosophy: When all about you is crumbling, the only thing to do is learn.

"Other books I've liked are Henderson, the Rain King by Saul Bellow, and the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne."
"One country evening, when my brother John and I were children, we saw a huge snow-white owl flying low along the hedges. 'Look,' John whispered, 'keep still.' To our young eyes, the wide-winged owl seemed like a passenger plane, cruising the night with such ease. He didn't see us; we waited, hushed as churchgoers, when suddenly the wise old owl nosedived-whoosh!-straight to the ground, picked up a titmouse and soared high into the moonlit sky.

"I like the independence of owls, the songs of larks and the magnificence of hawks and eagles. For a long time I watched birds with John, until one day we decided the poor things ought to be left alone to their private lives-just like everybody else."

P is for POTATOES and POEMS
"Have you ever had a boiled potato sandwich? Slices of boiled potato between French bread, plenty of butter, salt and pepper. Delicious with a cup of tea. Or a handful of French fries between fresh crusty bread? Or a baked potato in its~ jacket-with spaghetti spooned into it and swimming in spicy meat sauce? Haven't you guessed yet that I'm nuts about potatoes?"

"Two Shakespearean sonnets (the ones beginning 'Weary with toil I haste me to my bed . . .' and 'When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes. . and a poem by Robert Frost which begins, 'She is as in a field a silken tent.' I read them over and over. For me these capture all the mystery of love."

Q is for Q-TIP
"Emma's toy poodle-he's white with a black-tipped ear and a black eye. My miniature poodle, Shy, is silver-gray, but he's in England. One of the dearest pets I owned, when I was thirteen, was a little Welsh corgi, Humpty Dumpty, who hated cats. One day I saw a stray in the garden, a wonderful kitteny ball of fur, and suddenly I was determined to change Humpty Dumpty's mind about cats. I had a hunch that he wouldn't hurt anything young, and I was right-I wish you could have seen them playing together like school-chums."

R is for RASPBERRIES
"I picked them, dewy red rubies, off the bushes in our small orchard on summer mornings when I was growing up. I can eat them after every meal. Tart green apples are good, too-they're called Granny Smiths in England."

S is for SLEEP, SPECTACLES AND STARGAZING
"Sleep-I never have enough."

"Spectacles-movie spectacles-make me laugh. Horrendous extravaganzas like El Cid are good bad movies, if you know what I mean."

"Stargazing is my current craze. I bought a telescope while I was filming Hawaii in Honolulu, and our producer gave me a beautiful astronomy book and a map of the heavens. I recognize the constellations now-Orion, the Pleiades, Cassiopeia. Although I'm just an amateur astronomer, starlit nights encompass new dimensions.~~

T is for THEATER
"The nicest kind of evening: going to see a play, dressing for it, sharing the passions of the players, a bit of supper afterward-what a perfect night.

"Musicals I've adored: Gypsy, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls. As for actors, well, I guess my favorite depends on who's my leading man of the moment."

U is for UNUSED STATIONERY
"I go berserk in a stationery store. Just looking at unused paper excites me:
crisp envelopes with tissue linings, brand-new diaries, neat tablets, woodsy-smelling folders. At school I always loved the supply room best.

"Bookshops lure me too, and I love to lose myself in them at Christmastime. Watching people reverently handle books pleases me. I'm fussy about choosing just the right book for a friend-I want a book to have a good home."

V is for VERMEER and VLAMINCK
"Two artists whose paintings move me deeply. Vermeer's Dutch ladies sewing and spinning in Delft-blue chambers seem so serene, and Vlaminck's impressionist landscapes of France are a dazzle of color."

W is for WELLS, WALTON, WHITE and WOOD
"Wells is my father's name. He's Ted Wells, tall, dark and craggy, the most honest man I've ever met. He teaches practical crafts-metal and woodwork- in a whole wing of a school. Father lives in Leath Hill, at the foot of Surrey, near London."

"Walton is my married name. My marriage has made me a part of a glorious family, who-if you would like to know more about them-are all described in T. H. White's travel diary, America at Last."

"T. H. White is another beloved W. It was Tim who introduced us to the brisk air of Alderney, and, of course, he's the author I love most. He died too soon, at 57; how lucky I was to know his genius.

"Wood is my passion-darkest mahogany and walnut, venerable with the patina of years. This winter I found an antique mahogany Windsor armchair, constructed without a single nail-only with wooden pegs-and it will be the chair for my (as yet nonexistent) desk, which is the most personal possession.

X is for XXX's
"Or kisses. Emma and I love butterfly kisses-when you place your eyelashes against someone's cheek and flutter them lightly. Look out, it tickles!"

Y is for YACHTING
"Last summer I watched the yachts from the Trans-Pac Race sail into Honolulu harbor, and I fell in love with yachting. The excitement of the race mounts for weeks after the yachts leave Los Angeles for Hawaii. Over fifty boats were entered, all classes and sizes, handicapped and graded. Seeing them come in at night-ghostly moonlit shapes with their spinnakers set and sailing in the secrecy of the silvery water-what a sight!"

Z is for ZOE
"My great friend, Zoe Dominic, is a photographer in London. Another good friend is Svetlana Beriosova, a ballerina with the Royal Ballet. I'm closer to Zoe and Svetlana than with anyone.

"We three could chat for centuries, about children and love, audiences and work. When I was a teenager, the theater was just a job. But now, after talking with Svetlana and Zoe. I have another awareness. To make people laugh is terribly exciting. To make people forget their problems. ever for a second, is a rich feeling; one becomes, somehow, a warm and mellowing part of their lives."

 

 



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