A Hollywood Legend
There are few Hollywood stars who shine quite as brightly as Julie Andrews. Between Mary Poppins, The Sounds Of Music, and The Princess Diaries, Andrews is a queen for generations.
In a new interview with AARP The Magazine, Andrews, 84, explains that her career hasn't always been sunshine and roses and that she struggled with losing her singing voice after a surgery in 1997.
A Terrible Side Effect
Back in '97, Andrews found herself feeling especially hoarse after a Broadway show. After an examination, she was lead to believe that she had “non-cancerous nodules” from her throat, and subsequently had them removed at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital. However, she woke up from surgery to a terrible side effect: her famous four-octave soprano singing voice had been irreparably damaged.
"When I woke up from an operation to remove a cyst on my vocal cord, my singing voice was gone."
Sinking Into Depression
Andrews filed a medical malpractice suit against Mount Sinai that was settled in 2000, and attempted a number of surgeries to try and fix her voice. Unfortunately, she had in fact suffered from "a certain kind of muscular striation [that] happens on the vocal cords."
This terrible loss took a major toll on Andrews emotionally.
"I went into a depression. It felt like I’d lost my identity."
Finding Her Way Out
Luckily for Andrews, a new career shift was right around the corner: children's author.
"By good fortune, that’s when my daughter Emma and I had been asked to write books for kids. So along came a brand-new career in my mid-60s. Boy that was a lovely surprise."
The duo has gone on to write a dozen children's books together, and Andrews is releasing her second memoir, Home Work, on October 15. However, she still misses some aspects of her old life.
"But I do miss singing. Yes. I really do. I would have been quite a sad lady if I hadn’t had the voice to hold on to. The singing was the most important thing of all, and I don’t mean to be Pollyanna about how incredibly lost I’d have been without that."