Yes… this is what I call a real rule breaker!
In 1964, Julie Andrews made her movie debut in Mary Poppins. Then, she became internationally famous when she starred in My Fair Lady (1956) and then Camelot (1960).
In 1965, she played the real life Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Her voice singing the words “The hills are alive, with the sound of music” became iconic as a report 283 million people paid to see that movie. It became the biggest hit in the history of 20th Century Fox.
Julie Andrews had become a star because of her acting… but truly because of her voice. Several starring roles followed. But in 1997, she ran into a roadblock.
While starring in a show on broadway, she continued to experience hoarseness in her voice, that made it very difficult to sing. She was examined by a doctor and it was determined that she had developed nodules on her vocal cords. Fortunately, they were non-cancerous and could be surgically removed.
The surgery was scheduled and the nodules were successfully removed. When she woke from the surgery, she no longer had her singing voice and her speaking voice had a noticeable rasping noise. And, it was permanent.
After recovering from the shock of not being able to sing with her infamous four-octave soprano, years later she could finally joked that she found herself with a deep alto, only able to sing songs like “Old Man River“.
Here is the reminder for us. Once she got over the depression of losing her voice and the loss of her career that went with it, she picked herself up. She continued to perform with speaking roles and even became a “voice-over” star for such productions as Dr. Dolittle… starring as the voice of the parrot.
In 2000, she was recognized as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. In 2001, she appeared in The Princess Diaries, which was her first Disney film since Mary Poppins. She even performed voices for three of the Shrek movies and has also appeared in the Despicable Me movies and sequels. And now at age 82, she is known as an author for best-selling books for kids, having written 24 books to date.
All this was done after tragedy supposedly ended her career. And… she reports feeling great satisfaction in being a grandmother to nine, and a great-grandmother to three.
I could write this story many times about clients who have been knocked down, and then get back up. I am personally challenged every day by their courage.
Everyone, at some point in their life, has been knocked down and not felt like getting back up. When you get back up, it makes you realize that there are so many possibilities. Adversity causes some to break… and others to break records. (William Arthur Ward)
And finally, I laughed out loud!