Dame Julie Andrews is one of the best-loved actresses of the last fifty years. Her beautiful singing forms the backbone of two family favourites, Mary Poppins and The Sound Of Music. What you may not realise is that her voice continued to be crystal clear and perfect for decades after these movies were released.
Take a look at this video of Dame Julie performing in Tokyo in 1993. She looks almost regal as she sweeps onto the stage, impeccably dressed in a stunning black and white gown. Her smile is every bit as beautiful as it was in Mary Poppins; the years seem to have barely touched her.
Julie sings a medley of songs from Mary Poppins and The Sound Of Music. When she opens with My Favourite Things, it's hard to believe thirty years have passed since she first sang it on location in Salzburg. It's wonderful to hear her sing live and not miss a single note.
Believe it or not, that isn't the most impressive part of the performance. Dame Julie starts to sing Do-Re-Mi, but believe it or not, she does it in Japanese! It's strange to hear a song you know so well and not be able to understand the words. All the songs sound incredible as they are backed up by a full orchestra.
After Do-Re-Mi, she sweeps straight into Just A Spoonful of Sugar, and the big smile on Dame Julie's face clearly demonstrates how much she loves to sing. It's a shame that only a portion of this amazing concert is available on YouTube. Many people would happily buy the full version if they had the chance. Just check out some of the comments: "Julie Andrews' glorious voice is the real sound of music! This concert ought to be on dvd and bluray – it is a treasure, just like Julie herself. Bravo, Julie!!!!!"
"OMG! How the hell did she sound just the same as when she did the so films. Amazing and beautiful Voice."
If you haven't seen this video before, you need to stop what you're doing right now and watch it. Honestly, it's incredible, and you will not be disappointed.
That said, Dame Julie's talent was so great that this is far from her crowning achievement. She won the Best Actress Oscar in 1964 for Mary Poppins, a total of six Golden Globes, three Grammys and two Emmys. That's quite a list! She has also been the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Film Institute, is a Kennedy Center Honoree, has a star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been awarded three honorary degrees.
However, even more important than all these awards, is the place she holds in the hearts of everyone who grew up watching The Sound Of Music and Mary Poppins. She has been a part of family life and the movie world for over sixty years. Let's hope she stays with us and lights up the screen for many more.