Dame Julie Andrews needs no introduction. The Oscar-winning, Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award–winning, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award–winning Sag Harborite is a legend of screen and stage, with her most famous projects including films Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and The Princess Diaries; and Broadway plays My Fair Lady and Camelot.
Born to a poor English family in 1935, Andrews began performing small shows with her mother and stepfather as a child. With her parents’ help, in 1948 she became the youngest soloist to perform for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in a Royal Command Variety Performance. By 1954, she made her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend, the same show that would become her directorial debut in 2003 with a revival at Bay Street Theater. She’s continued her relationship with Bay Street, becoming a Trustee Emeritus and appearing in numerous events alongside her daughter, Bay Street co-founder Emma Walton Hamilton, including an upcoming virtual interview with director Marcia Milgrom Dodge on Monday, August 31.
From rags to riches, Andrews is a treasure trove of wisdom and life lessons. Here are 15 of her most inspirational quotes.
“Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.”
“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”
“All careers go up and down like friendships, like marriages, like anything else, and you can’t bat a thousand all the time.”
“Leave every place you go, everything you touch, a little better for your having been there.”
“Feed the body food and drink, it will survive today. Feed the soul art and music, it will live forever.”
“If you’re passionate about what you do, then go for it wholeheartedly. Be prepared that if anytime, you may be surprised by a phenomenal opportunity that may come your way, and that’s when I say, do your homework. Be ready.”
“You never start out being a star.”
“I’m never sure one is exactly ready. You jump in, with both feet, into a very big fish pond.”
“I think birth and motherhood are not things that you’re trained to do. You might have a good example in your own mum, but nobody teaches you how to be a really great mum.”
“Use your knowledge, and your heart, to stand up for those who can’t stand. Speak for those who can’t speak. Be a beacon of light for those whose lives have become dark.”
“There will be many times in your lives—at school, and more particularly when you are a grown-up—when people will distract or divert you from what needs to be done. You may even welcome the distraction. But if you use it as an excuse for not doing what you suppose to do, you can blame no one but yourself. If you truly wish to accomplish something, you should allow nothing to stop you, and chances are you’ll succeed.”
“If you remain calm in the midst of great chaos, it is the surest guarantee that it will eventually subside.”
“All love shifts and changes. I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time.”
“Miracles, contrary to popular belief, do not just happen. A miracle is the achievement of the impossible, and it is only when we put aside out greed, anger, pride and prejudice so that our minds are open and ready to accept it, that a miracle can occur.”
“Be a part of all that is decent and be an ambassador for the kind of world that you want to live in.”