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Serial sold to DAILY MAIL Author tour BBC documentary, to be confirmed

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Dame Julie Andrews is an Emmy, Grammy and Academy Award-winning actress and singer, best-known for her roles in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.Previous titles:None.


Andrews, who has written several children's books (The Great American Mousical; Mandy), both solo and with her daughter, now dances in a different direction with this delightful remembrance of her own childhood and engrossing prelude to her cinematic career. Spanning events from her 1935 birth to the early 1960s, she covers her rise to fame and ends with Walt Disney casting her in Mary Poppins (1963). Setting the stage with a family tree backdrop, she balances the sad struggles of relatives and hard drinkers with mirthful family tales and youthful vocal lessons amid rationing and the London Blitz: "My mother pulled back the blackout curtains and gasped-for there, snuggly settled in the concrete square of the courtyard, was the incendiary bomb." A BBC show led to a London musical at age 12: "My song literally stopped the show. People rose to their feet and would not stop clapping." Her mother's revelation of her true father left her reeling when she was 15, but she continued touring, did weekly BBC broadcasts and was Broadway-bound by 1954 to do The Boyfriend. The heart of her book documents the rehearsals, tryouts and smash 1956 opening of My Fair Lady. Readers will rejoice, since Andrews is an accomplished writer who holds back nothing while adding a patina of poetry to the antics and anecdotes throughout this memoir of bittersweet backstage encounters and theatrical triumphs. (Apr. 1) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Andrews's memoir looks to be the first in a series chronicling this much-loved star's life, as it spans only her early years through her stage success in Camelot (1960). Her story begins in 1935 England, when she was born to an aspiring vaudevillian mother and a well-liked father who was a teacher. Her parents divorced, and her mother married Canadian tenor Ken Andrews; together, they performed in music halls across England. When Julie's voice was "discovered," she was made part of the act and began her professional career at 12, becoming the youngest solo performer at a Royal Command Performance. As her fame grew, she landed a role in Broadway's The Boyfriend, and at age 18, her successful musical comedy career began. Celebrity-memoir-lovers will enjoy her personal anecdotes and her humor, but this is more than the usual tell-all. Andrews paints a detailed and evocative picture of postwar England and the life of a child star. A best-selling children's author (The Great American Mousical), she has never told her own story before. A highly recommended, welcome addition to the genre.-Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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