She is quite possibly the most celebrated performer ever to take the Broadway stage. From her first New York appearance as Polly in Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend in 1954 to her later successes in My Fair Lady and Camelot, Dame Julie Andrews quickly proved herself to be that rare artist who can both sing and act beautifully. Not even nineteen when she first played the role of Polly, Andrews won the 1955 Theatre World Award for the part, and later went on to garner Tony Award® nominations for her 1956 portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and her role as Guenevere in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1960 musical, Camelot.
Curiously, though she is so closely identified with Broadway, Andrews actually appeared in only five different productions there. Her Emmy®-winning performance in the made-for-TV musical Cinderella on CBS in 1957 attracted an audience of some 100 million viewers. Andrews won an Oscar® in 1964 for her starring role in the film Mary Poppins and was nominated again two years later for her performance in the film version of The Sound of Music.
The Broadway original cast recording of My Fair Lady sold more than three million copies, making it the best-selling album of its time – until the soundtrack for The Sound of Music was released ten years later.