Five Life Lessons From
1. She continued her career after she lost her voice.
In the late ‘90s, Andrews had failed vocal chord surgery that resulted in the loss of her singing voice.
That would have been devastating for anyone, but it was especially difficult for a performer whose livelihood had been built on an iconic voice. Instead of giving up, Andrews refocused her efforts and continued developing her career by throwing her energy into other projects.
She began writing children's books with her daughter and creating a Netflix series all about the theatre world.
2. It doesn't matter where you come from... you can still be a success.
It would be easy to assume that polished and polite Andrews spent her childhood raised by a lord or lady while being schooled on etiquette and acting at a posh British academy.
The truth is far less glamorous. Andrews’ family had very little money, and she was raised in a poor area of London by her mother and stepfather, who was a violent alcoholic.
In spite of these early years, Andrews concentrated on her vocal training and performing instead of her circumstances.
3. She is always willing to try something new.
Andrews began with a very successful career on the stage, and she didn’t stop there, moving on to become a star of the screen and a successful author.
But even in her 80s, Andrews isn’t slowing down.
She has directed a recent production of My Fair Lady for the Sydney Opera House, voiced a successful animated character (the Queen in the Shrek movies) and created and starred in a children’s Netflix series, Julie's Greenroom, which we highly recommend.
May we all be so lucky as to have her boundless energy and creativity in our old age.
4. Not getting the part might be your big break.
In spite of a successful run as Eliza Doolittle in the stage production of My Fair Lady, with Rex Harrison, Andrews was replaced by Audrey Hepburn in the film adaptation due to her lack of name recognition.
But when one door closes, Disney opens another.
With her schedule freed up, Andrews was offered the title role in Mary Poppins. The film skyrocketed her to fame and earned her an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy.
None of this would have been possible had she not been rejected for the role of Eliza.
5. It's important to stay humble and kind.
It’s hard to imagine anyone having a bad thing to say about Dame Andrews.
It could be argued that in addition to her incredible talent, it’s her kindness and humble nature that have contributed to her longevity in the industry.
Despite the fact that she was turned down for the part of Eliza, Andrews remained friends with and spoke highly of her replacement.
If that wasn’t enough proof, Andrews refused a Best Actress Tony nomination for her role in Victor/Victoria as a demonstration of loyalty and solidarity to the show’s creative staff. Andrews said she believed the other members of the production should have been nominated for their work.
Whether she is singing about her favorite things, ruling Genovia or teaching children about theatre, Andrews is practically perfect. Mary Poppins would be proud.