Julie Andrews Once Got a Surprise Performance of Her Favorite Song From ‘The Sound of Music’ That Brought Her to Tears

Julie Andrews remains one of the most beloved actors of our lifetime thanks to her roles in classics such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, as well as more modern productions such as The Princess Diaries and Bridgerton.

Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music
Julie Andrews in ‘The Sound of Music’ | Mondadori via Getty Images

Julie Andrews has been in show business for decades

Andrews’ lengthy career started on stage over seven decades ago. She followed in her parents’ footsteps and sang alongside them when they performed at night, and even toured around the country with them. 

Andrews made her Broadway debut the day before her 19th birthday in the 1954 musical The Boy Friend, which had been successful across the pond. She then starred as Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway production of My Fair Lady in 1956.

Her breakout performance in the Disney musical Mary Poppins earned her her first Academy Award. (Ironically, she was snubbed for the role of Eliza Doolittle in the film adaptation of My Fair Lady, and beat out Audrey Hepburn for the award.) The following year, lightning struck twice with Andrews’ iconic role in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.

Actress Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews | Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Julie Andrews has one favorite song from ‘The Sound of Music’

The Sound of Music remains one of the most beloved movies of all time. 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the film, and Andrews appeared on the radio show EW Morning Live to talk about the film’s impact half a century later and her fond memories of the whole experience. When she’s asked about her favorite song from the movie, Andrews is honest with her answer. 

“I have several, but the one that has resonated over the years is a song that I didn’t sing, really, in the movie, and that’s ‘Edelweiss,’” Andrews said. “It’s such a beautiful melody and so exquisitely composed that it’s about anyone’s homeland. And I’ve sung it many times in concert, and that’s the one that has stayed with me all of these years.”

“All the others are gorgeous — I mean, I loved ‘My Favorite Things.’ It was such a wonderful waltz and so joyous,” she added, “but really, I think the one I loved the most was ‘Edelweiss.’”

Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
Julie Andrews in ‘The Sound of Music’ | 20th Century Fox/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘The Sound of Music’: This Is Julie Andrews’ Favorite Song From the Iconic Movie

Julie Andrews was once serenaded with her favorite ‘Sound of Music’ song

In the early 1980s, two decades after her Mary Poppins breakout, Andrews was the subject of another movie that earned her an Oscar nomination: Victor/Victoria. The film was turned into a stage musical in the ’90s, with Andrews reprising her role as the titular character. The show opened on Broadway in 1995 and ran for nearly two years.

In her last performance in the show, Andrews was treated to a surprise by her castmates after the curtain call. “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been asked to say a few words on behalf of this company which will be saying goodbye to our beloved Jules this afternoon,” her co-star Tony Roberts said, “and I know I speak for everybody in this building who has had the great fortune to be a part of her family for the past two years that we will treasure these memories for the rest of our lives.”

Roberts held Andrews’ hand and looked at her. “You make family wherever you go and we are all very privileged to have spent two years in your presence,” he continued. “As a way of saying goodbye to you, we’d like to sing you one of your favorite songs.”

The orchestra began playing “Edelweiss” and Andrews’ face lit up. But there was one more surprise in store: in the last part of the song, her Sound of Music co-star Christopher Plummer came onstage to wild applause while wearing his Captain von Trapp uniform from the movie and joining the singing. 

Andrews was visibly touched and needed a towel to wipe her tears. When the heartfelt tribute was over, she was speechless, saying, “You don’t think today was hard?!”