HOLLYWOOD – Julie Andrews is a screen legend beloved for playing iconic roles such as Maria in “The Sound of Music” and the magical nanny in “Mary Poppins.”
On Thursday, Andrews, 86, was revealed as the cause of a condiment-smearing TV food fight with comedy legend Carol Burnett.
The messy clip from an early variety show was shown before Burnett’s tribute to Andrews for the 48th Annual AFI Life Achievement Award (airing on TNT on June 16 at 10 pm ET / PT).
All was quickly forgiven. Burnett said Andrews, who was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, deserved the lifetime award.
“Her talent is unsurpassed, the consummate actress, her voice is a gift from the gods,” said Burnett, directing her attention to Andrews. “You’re a great dame in every sense of the word. I love you. Congratulations, chum.”
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Burnett, 89, recalled meeting Andrews in 1960 and finding an instant connection with the British actress with the golden singing voice.
“Julie and I never stopped talking that evening. It was as if we had always known each other,” Burnett said. “And that evening kicked off, what has been a six-decade-long relationship, professional and personal.”
Burnett, who sat next to Andrews during the evening of presentations, said that during their first TV special in 1962, “Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall,” they started referring to each other as “chum.” Their personal conversations amid the ongoing specials have changed through the years – from boyfriends and careers to husbands and kids in the 1970s.
“During the rehearsal breaks in the 1980s, we talked about hot flashes and hormones,” Burnett said. “If we ever do another one, it will be a Metamucil musical.”
Andrews tributes flowed during the evening starting with the now-grown child actor co-stars from 1964’s “The Sound of Music,” who started a musical sing-along from the stage. Steve Carell, who has worked with Andrews in the “Despicable Me” franchise, talked of the joy of having the icon voice his “horror show” screen mother. Andrews is the furthest thing from her character, Carrell said.
“It’s a miracle when you meet someone who is an authentic legend, and they not only live up to your expectations, they exceed them,” said Carell. “She’s the epitome of grace and elegance. She’s kinder and funnier. She’s even better than you hoped she would be.”
Video tributes came from “Mary Poppins” star Dick Van Dyke and “Princess Diaries” star Anne Hathaway.
Gwen Stefani fangirled over Andrews from the stage talking about seeing “The Sound of Music” as a girl which was one of the “most impactful movies in my life.”
“I wouldn’t be me without the inspiration of Julie Andrews,” Stefani said. “I’ve got to pinch myself right now, because this is crazy.”
Stephanie said she had to convince Pharrell Williams to add the “Lonely Goatherd” tribute from “Sound of Music” to their “Wind It Up” song collaboration. “I had to fight for it, and it absolutely made the song,” Stefani said.
“I’ve always been way too nervous to meet my idol,” Stefani said. “But tonight is the night. I can’t believe this is happening. Julie, you have become a part of all of our lives. You’ve brought so much joy.”
When it was Andrews’ turn to speak, the legendary actress said she was “gobsmacked” by the tributes, calling the evening “amazing.”
“I’m overwhelmed,” Andrews said.
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