She played Mary Poppins in the 1964 original, and the 84-year-old actress is still working in the industry. Even if you haven’t seen her lately, you’ve likely heard her as voice work on popular family films is a major part of her recent film repertoire.
Andrews’ long life of success is bittersweet. The star outlived her long-time husband Blake Edwards, who passed away in 2010. She opened up about how she carries the memory of her spouse with her now.
Andrews has kept busy throughout her long career
Mary Poppins marked Andrews’ big break in the entertainment world, but she started out as a child actor in the U.K. before relocating to New York in the 1950s to try her craft on the stage. When she landed the role of Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway production of My Fair Lady, it was clear that her shift in locations and focus had paid off.
She would follow up her Broadway success with film appearances. Playing Mary Poppins earned her an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and the celebrated actress then went on to film The Sound of Music.
These iconic performances have left her a legend in the musical film world.
Following these amazing films, Andrews’ career hit something of a slump. She did some television appearances but nothing that compared to the high-profile work of her top films. She stayed active by singing, but that part of her career was tragically cut short by a surgical disaster in 1997. Andrews sued the doctors who performed the surgery and settled for an undisclosed amount.
With her singing career behind her, Andrews turned to voice work providing voices for animated family films like Shrek and Despicable Me.
Andrews had a long marriage to her second husband
Andrews married set designer Tony Walton in 1959, and the pair divorced in 1967. In that same year, Blake Edwards—famed director of films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s—divorced his first spouse as well.
Edwards and Andrews had a “meet cute,” in Hollywood terms, years earlier when they briefly met while driving in opposite directions in front of a the same therapist’s office.
After their respective divorces, the pair started dating. Edwards was thirteen years older than Andrews, but they clicked instantly. The pair would marry soon after, blending their families that included Andrews’ daughter and Edwards’ daughter and son. They later adopted two daughters together.
Their work extended to professional collaborations, working on more than ten films together. The pair were married for 41 years, an astonishingly long time by Hollywood relationship standards, when Edwards passed away in 2010 due to complications with pneumonia.
Andrews continues to mourn the loss of her husband
Though it has been nearly a decade since Andrews lost her husband, she opened up about how the loss stays with her. “Success in our marriage was to take it one day at a time and so, lo and behold, 41 years later there we still were,” Andrews explained of their long relationship.
Taking it one day at a time seems to have been her mantra for dealing with life without her partner as well. “There are days when it’s perfectly wonderful and I am myself,” she explains. But then she goes on to admit that the loss will hit her suddenly: “then it’s suddenly – sock you in the middle of your gut and you think, ‘Ah God I wish he were here.'”
She knows that she will carry the love for her husband with her the rest of her life after their many creative projects together and four decades of marriage.