The legendary Julie Andrews was married to costume designer Tony Walton for almost eight years before they parted ways.
After wading through a hard childhood that crisscrossed the divorce of her parents, a difficult relationship with her mother and stepfather, and extreme poverty, when Julie Andrews finally burst on the silver screen as Mary Poppins, her life turned for the good. Or, so she thought. Difficulties have been part of her life since she was young, and this new setback in her personal life just added to the emotional baggage she had been carrying inside her.
"My mother was terribly important to me, and I know how much I yearned for her in my youth… but I don't think I truly trusted her," she told the New York Times. When later she was forced to live with her mother and stepfather, it was in conditions that were hopeless. The room where she slept had rats scurrying through the pipes and she had lice in her hair that had to be scrubbed away and rinsed with vinegar.
Despite the conditions she grew up in, her voice was the hope that took her out of that place. Eventually, her voice made her famous on the stage, which is where Walt Disney discovered her and cast her as Mary Poppins. Her voice transfixed him so much that he waited for the actress, who was already married by then, to give birth to her first child before starting work on the film.
Somewhere, between all the shows and rehearsals, before she even landed the role of Mary Poppins, she had fallen for costume designer Tony Walton, with whom she was married between 1959 and 1967. "Sadly, I separated from my lovely first husband," Andrews recalled. "The marriage was over and my head was so full of clutter and garbage." And how did she sort through all that clutter and garbage in her head?
"Believe it or not, it was Mike Nichols who really tipped me into wanting to go to therapy," she told Stephen Colbert on his late-night show. By 1967, she was already a phenomenon.
She said that filmmaker Nichols was "so sane, and funny and clear," and that he "had a clarity that I admired so much." She admired that so much in him that she wanted it for herself. "I didn't feel I had it, so I went and got into [therapy] and it saved my life, in a way," the Sound of Music actress added.
In fact, she even speaks about it in her new memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years. When asked why she chose this subject to talk about, she answered with "Why not?" The 84-year-old actress said that it was a valuable lesson "if it helps anybody else have the same idea."
"These days, there's no harm in sharing it. I think everybody knows the great work it can do," she added. "[For] anybody that is lucky enough to have it, afford it and take advantage of it, I think it would be wonderful," said the Grammy-award winner, according to ETOnline.
It was during one of those appointments with her therapist that she met her future husband, Blake Edwards, with whom she spent 41 happy years. They adopted two children together. Their love was an epic one that lasted for decades and would have gone on longer if not for Edwards's death in 2010. The grief of losing him still hurts her gravely.
But she has learned to cope slowly and continues to do what she does best - perform.