Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studio
Julie was 28 and a new mom when she headed to Austria to take on Fraulein Maria, the role that would make her an international star. By then, Julie had been singing for decades. She says she discovered her vocal ability when she was only 7 years old.
"I was a real child prodigy. I had like four octaves, and I could sing cadenzas like crazy. When I went up really high, the dogs from miles around would howl," she says. "I was very quickly taken to a specialist to be sure I wasn't doing any harm to my chords, and he said, 'You do have an adult larynx, so you're going to be okay, but go to a good teacher.'"
By the time she was 13, Julie realized her voice was really something special, she says.
Prior to The Sound of Music, Julie performed on Broadway and even won a Best Actress Oscar® for her performance as the practically perfect nanny, Mary Poppins.
After filming Mary Poppins, Julie says she hesitated when she was first offered the role of Maria von Trapp. "I questioned having played one nanny [Mary Poppins] whether another nanny would be a good idea," she says. "But it was such a delicious role, and the music is so beautiful."