The Story of the Actress Who Met Her Husband on the Street and Stayed With Him for the Rest of His Life
The actress that made so many childhoods happy by playing Mary Poppins is also the protagonist of a real-life love story that’s just as magical as her movie. Together with her husband, film director Blake Edwards, she had a romance similar to the script of a romantic comedy from beginning to end. However, in this case, it was in real life, and it became the best production they worked on.
She was a talented English girl.
Julie Andrews was born in England, and at a young age, she was already enchanting everyone with her voice. Her mother and stepfather discovered their daughter’s talent and encouraged her to begin a career in the arts. Andrews began performing in music halls as a child through her teens, and at the age of 20, she made her professional debut in a musical at the London Palladium.
After immersing herself in the world of Broadway, her lucky break finally came in 1964, when she landed the lead role in the movie, Mary Poppins. It was then that the world came to know her name.
He discovered his passion through acting.
Blake Edwards, on the other hand, was born in the United States and began his career in the film industry as an actor. There, he realized that he preferred directing over being directed. He began writing screenplays and directing television programs, later moving into film, with Operation Petticoat serving as his first major film he directed.
They were brought together by fate in the most peculiar way.
Their first meeting was a simple coincidence, which could have gone unnoticed, had Cupid not had his way. “We met literally like ships passing each other in the night, but in reality, they were our cars. I was going one way, and he was going the other. He rolled down the window and, after smiling a couple of times, he said, ’Are you going where I just went?’ I was going to a therapist he was coming from. Very corny,” she confessed in an interview.
She was married to her childhood sweetheart, producer Tony Walton, and had a daughter named Emma. He, for his part, also had a family with another woman and 2 children, although both couples ended in divorce. “I felt I had failed miserably, and I blamed myself for that. Although I think it was probably a bit of both,” Edwards said in relation to their separation, which occurred when his daughter was just 5 years old.
From a budding love to a happy family
But love came knocking again when Edwards asked Andrews to marry him: “That was a total surprise. We had only been seeing each other for a little over a year, and neither of us was divorced from the ex-spouse,” the actress admitted. 2 years later, the couple finally married, beginning a story that lasted 41 years.
They formed an extended family with their children, Andrews’ daughter, Emma, and Edwards’ children, Geoffrey and Jennifer. And although they wanted to have children together, they couldn’t make it happen. But life gave them a lucky hand: they were able to fulfill their dream by adopting 2 orphaned Vietnamese girls.
“Amy came into our lives, and it was wonderful. Then Saigon started to fall, and within 3 months we had another one. We told the orphanage where Amy came from, ’We know you won’t be able to do this for long. Once the south falls, adoptions will stop, so if you want to send us another child, please do.’ Then, suddenly, Joanna was with us,” she confessed.
They’re a couple but also colleagues.
The couple had the pleasure of working together 7 times, with the musical Victor/Victoria being the most beloved for the actress: “Working with him was lovely, he had his good and bad sides. I know we could talk about the role without any problems, and I knew that if Blake filmed, I was going to be completely taken care of. We loved working together,” she said in an interview.
But despite sharing happy moments, both work-wise and family-wise, as in any love story, everything is never perfect. Edwards, sadly, suffered from depression.
“Blake was the most charismatic and interesting guy you could meet [...]. He was hilariously funny and had such a dark sense of humor that I just loved,” the actress confessed. “But he was also, at times, a very depressive personality, and he had a very hard time. I knew him very well, and he knew me very well: we were married for 41 years before he passed away, and he had horrible bouts of depression.”
A love that lasts forever
After complications with pneumonia, Edwards sadly passed away on December 15, 2010. The time they can no longer share is offset by all the time they have lived. “We were married 41 years, and it was a love story [...]. The success in our marriage was to go one day at a time and so, lo and behold, 41 years later, we were still,” Andrews confessed in 2015.
Despite his departure, she admitted she wasn’t over it. “There are days when everything is perfectly wonderful, and I’m just myself, and then all of a sudden it hits you in the stomach, and it’s like, ’Ah, God, I wish he was here.’ I think you’ll carry that love forever,” she said, proving that even though time and life pass, true love endures forever for those who love each other in the purest way.
What has been the most beautiful love story you have lived or known?