In her autobiography “Home: A Memoir of my Early Years” Julie modestly said, “My appearances [on Sullivan] were not particularly noteworthy but they were important for two reasons: I was exposed to a vast viewing audience across the country, and, more importantly, I sang songs from My Fair Lady”. On July 15th 1956, she performed “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Show Me” from the Tony Award winning musical.
Sullivan’s admiration for musicals led him to devote an entire episode of The Ed Sullivan Show to composers Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe, creators of musicals such as Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, and Camelot. Thus, on March 19th, 1961, Andrews graced the Sullivan stage once more. Although she wasn’t in the Broadway production, she began by performing a duet of “Almost Like Being in Love” from Brigadoon with Robert Goulet. After changing into a peasant costume, she sang “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?”with other cast members from My Fair Lady. Just as Eliza goes from rags to riches, Julie appeared later in a stunning dress and tiara to sing “I Could Have Danced All Night” from the same show.
Later, Andrews transformed into Queen Guinevere and performed “Camelot” and “What Do Simple Folk Do?” with Richard Burton as King Arthur. This is the only video recording of Julie Andrews and Richard Burton performing Camelot in existence.
Ed often used his program as a platform for audiences who otherwise couldn’t see a Broadway show. In Michael Kantor’s PBS series Broadway: The American Musical, Julie Andrews stated that “The Ed Sullivan Show was the most important showcase for the Broadway musical.” In Gerald Nachman’s “Right Here on Our Stage Tonight! Ed Sullivan’s America,” he uses Camelot as an example of the Sullivan show’s power. “The Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe musical was mired in a sluggish run after the John Kennedy assassination months earlier, but after Julie Andrews and Richard Burton sang two duets on Sullivan’s show, a long line formed the next morning outside the Majestic Theater.”
Miss Andrews’ has gone on to great success in multiple areas. She won an Academy Award for her portrayal of “Mary Poppins” in the 1964 Disney classic, a Golden Globe for playing Maria in the film adaptation of “The Sound of Music” in 1965, and another for “Victor/Victoria” in 1986. In 1973 she won an Emmy for her variety series The Julie Andrews Hour. In 1997, she underwent surgery to remove non-cancerous nodules in her throat, which left her unable to sing for two years. In 2000 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She joined with Disney once more to star as Queen Clarisse Marie Renaldi in “The Princess Diaries” and its sequel (2001, 2004) and then voiced Queen Lillian in the box office monster-hit “Shrek” (2004-2010) animated film franchise. Miss Andrews was honored by the Kennedy Center in 2001, the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, and the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Musical Achievement Award in 2009. Her 23rd book was published in 2010, and was a New York Times Bestseller.