Julie Andrews is, quite simply, a phenomenon. She has probably brought more joy to more people than any other star of her generation’ – Richard Attenborough. Julie Andrews is the last of the great Hollywood musical stars – her extraordinary career spans more than forty years. Her first film, Mary Poppins, was Disney’s most successful film, and in 1965 The Sound of Music rescued Twentieth Century Fox from bankruptcy. Three years later, Star! almost put the studio back under, and the leading lady of both films fell as spectacularly as she had risen.But Julie Andrews is nothing if not a survivor; and despite many setbacks – including the tragedy of losing her singing voice in 1997 after a botched operation – she’s still a performer, recently starring in Shrek and The Princess Diaries. Richard Stirling’s deeply researched biography – based on many years of contact with Julie – is a frank but affectionate portrait of an enduring icon of stage and screen.