Tag Archives: Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton: Full Agenda of Honors and Deadlines Helping Through Bereavement

Emma Walton Hamilton, Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews has been keeping very busy of late with her involvement in planning a March 29 memorial tribute to her husband of 41 years, esteemed filmmaker Blake Edwards.  That’s the word from her daughter and coauthor, Emma Walton Hamilton, who acknowledges, “Even though he’d been unwell for some time and was 88 years old, it’s been a difficult transition for the family that has had an impact these last few months.”  Edwards, whose honor is being put on jointly by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild and Writers Guild, died of pneumonia Dec. 15.

It certainly appears that Julie’s continuing to live life to the full even as she deals with her grief.  “She’s in terrific shape and she’s always been a person of huge enthusiasm,” Emma points out.  Julie and Emma have several book deadlines they’re working toward.  Julie also plans to direct a play this fall, according to her daughter.  And Julie and Emma are to be honored themselves April 4, at New York’s Chelsea Piers at the “Stars of Stony Brook 2011 Gala,” a benefit for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

Emma is glad for the opportunity to help spotlight the good work of the hospital, where her own daughter was born, as well as to talk about her passion, reading for young people. “Mostly, it’s just a lovely honor,” says Emma, who has co-authored 20 children’s books with her mother, as well as the noted Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment. She is also a faculty member of Stony Brook University and director of its annual Children’s Literature Conference, its MFA in Writing and Literature Conference, The Southampton Playwriting Conference and YAWP (The Young America Writers Conference), an inter-disciplinary writing program for middle and high school students.

Of the latter, she explains, “It’s a program about voice, about finding their authentic voice and expressing that creatively, and using creative writing to solve problems.  They’re actually excited by this. They feel empowered by it.  It’s the sort of thing where you get to watch kids have these extraordinary breakthroughs.”

Miley Cyrus Latest Disney Darling to Go From Virginal to Vixenish

Miley Cyrus at 2009 Teen Choice Awards

As Miley Cyrus contemplates her disappointing “Can’t Be Tamed” album sales and absorbs response to her latest stream of “Let Me Prove to You I’m a Grownup” antics – lap dancing with a director, vamping it up in tarty outfits on stage – we can’t help but compare her journey to those of so many Disney darlings before her.

What is it about crashing a sweet, virginal image to smithereens that makes it so inviting?

Of course, Britney Spears leaps to mind.  Miley has made it clear she’s a huge fan of  the 28-year-old superstar whose rollercoaster life has provided careers for tabloid writers and bloggers and paparazzi since 1999, when the former Mousketeer caused a stir with a Rolling Stone magazine cover in which she appeared lying on her bed clad in shorts, bra, and open top.  The American Family Association called for a boycott of stores selling her albums.  Shades of Miley’s Vanity Fair Lolita-esque photo brouhaha.

Christina Aguilera, Britney’s fellow former Mousketeer, traded in her girl-next-door wholesomeness for piercings, a neck tattoo, and a string of raunchy songs and videos.

Older audience members remember original Mousketeer Doreen Tracy, who posed for the men’s magazine Gallery wearing her Mousketeer ears and not much else, and who came out with a book, “Confessions of a Mouseketeer.”

Sadly, there is the train wreck that is once-promising Disney movie star Lindsay Lohan.

Somehow, “Princess Diaries” star Anne Hathaway managed to transition to adulthood in such a deft and sophisticated way, her audience accepted her doing nudity in movies and handling exceptionally gritty material – as in her Oscar-nominated turn in “Rachel Getting Married” – with little turmoil

Which is more than can be said for Hathaway’s onscreen grandma, the Queen of Genovia herself, the great Julie Andrews.  Globally adored after successes including “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music,” she was delighted when her husband, Blake Edwards, put her in his 1981 satire “S.O.B.” as a goody-goody actress who makes a musical that flops and is then re-shot as a pornographic film.

“Mary Poppins Goes Topless” screamed headlines.  It created a furor at the time, but was eventually granted grudging acceptance.  Sure, she did it – but we’d rather watch the movies that have our Julie practically perfect in every way.