Earlier this month the much-loved Julie Andrews received the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. In an evening that celebrated some of her many achievements, the 86-year-old was honored not only by the Hollywood elite, but by the actors who played alongside her 57 years ago in The Sound of Music.
While it’s difficult to compute that the film was made so many decades ago, it’s equally staggering to see those angelic children who sang their hearts out on the hills in Austria walk out on to the stage as adults to honor Andrews.
Of the original von Trapp child actors, five turned up to surprise their fictional step-mother in a sing-along. Led by Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich von Trapp, the other actors, Duane Chase (Kurt), Angela Cartwright (Brigitta), Debbie Turner (Marta) and the Kym Karath (young Gretl) encouraged the audience, and Andrews, to sing the familiar “Do-Re-Mi.”
It was wonderful to see that even in her golden years, Andrews looked delighted as she joined in her celebratory sing-along. It was a familiar sight that many of us will remember from the original film all those years ago.
Yet another notable moment from the evening was listening to Andrews’ acceptance speech. Far from the grandstanding we so often see in Hollywood speeches, the octogenarian’s speech was refreshingly humble and full of grace.
After a lifetime in an industry that celebrates individual stars, she wanted to shine a spotlight on those behind the scenes, the “unsung heroes,” who enabled her to be the star she is today. And in true motherly fashion, she also adorably asked the audience to get home safely!
Her speech is definitely worth watching, if only as a reminder as to why she so deserved recognition for her life devoted to entertaining others.