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Julie Andrews Misses Her Husband 'like Crazy' after Trying to Save Him from the 'Monster' of Self-Medication

Junie Sihlangu
May 11, 2022
05:00 A.M.
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Julie Andrews' husband, Blake Edwards, sadly passed away long before her, leaving his wife to miss him daily. One of the couple's trials was Edwards' mental health issue which his wife saved him from.

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Julie Andrews is an actress who is well-known for her roles in "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins." The Oscar Award-winning star began her acting work on an English stage.

She then replicated her success on Broadway before earning Tony Award nominations for her work in "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot." After starring in "Mary Poppins," Andrews won herself an Academy Award.

Dame Julie Andrews at the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2019, in Italy. | Source: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

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She also had an Academy Award nomination for her role in "The Sound of Music." In her personal life, the actress was married to her second husband, Blake Edward, for 41 years until his death.

Andrews met Edwards while she was still married to her first husband. She and Edwards ended up working in several famous movies, and to honor their love, we get a look at their romantic life story.

JULIE MET THE LOVE OF HER LIFE WHILE STILL MARRIED

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews near Shepherd Market, United Kingdom, on June 9, 1973. | Source: Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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According to Honey Nine, Andrews met Edwards in 1959, with the actress describing the moment as "ships that passed in the night at some event." Depending on who you spoke with, the meeting was recalled as either "wonderfully Hollywood" or "corny."

The pair later crossed paths at a Los Angeles intersection, where they made eye contact. At the time, the two stars were driving away in opposite directions after leaving the same therapist, with Andrews recalling in a 2015 "Good Morning Britain" interview:

"I was going one way and he was going the other."

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews posing in a black-and-white image in 1979. | Source: Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images

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The actress remembered how their interaction went that fateful day, saying: "He rolled down the window after smiling a couple of times, and he said, 'Are you going where I just came from?' ... Very corny, sorry about that."

Edwards had a different outlook on how he met the actress, describing the moment as they'd met as "wonderfully Hollywood." The "Breakfast at Tiffany's" director shared his recollection of their driving meetup, stating:

"We would stop in the middle lane on Sunset [Boulevard, in Beverly Hills] waiting for traffic and then go on. I kept looking over, two or three mornings a week...eventually I said 'hi.'"

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Tony Walton and Julie Andrews' wedding at St Mary Oatlands Church, in Weybridge, Surrey, on May 10, 1959. | Source: Arthur Sidey/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

During a different interview with ABC, Andrews admitted, "I'm afraid I was trying very hard not to fall in love with him." What kept the pair apart was that they were both married to other people. 

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Edwards was with Patricia Walker while the actress was married to Tony Walton. One person, who prophetically said to the film director, "With your luck, you'll wind up marrying her," referring to Andrews, was Edwards' agent Stan Kamen.

Blake Edwards at a Democratic rally on January 1, 1970. | Source: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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Eventually, in 1967, Andrews and Edwards both divorced their spouses after having reconnected towards the end of their marriages. As soon as their divorces were finalized, the actress and the film director started seeing each other. 

Despite Edwards being 13 years older than Andrews, Kamen's prediction came true when the couple tied the knot. The actress and the "Pink Panther films" director married in November 1969 at Andrews' home after being together for two years. 

JULIE AND BLAKE WENT THROUGH FIRE AND WATER TOGETHER

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews with the former as a guest of honor at the Variety Club's luncheon in Canada on September 10, 1986. | Source: Ron Bull/Toronto Star/Getty Images

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In Andrews' 2019 memoir, "Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years," she revealed how Edwards was a funny man. The actress described her husband as "...the most charismatic and interesting fellow you could possibly meet."

She added, "He was hilariously funny and had such a dark sense of humor that just put me away, that I loved so much." However, the star also shared that he had something "dangerous about him."

Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards at the Ordway Music Theatre on an unknown date. | Source: David Brewster/Star Tribune/Getty Images

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Andrews explained: "But he was also, at times, a very depressive personality and had a very difficult time." The star admitted that she tried to fix and save her director husband during their marriage.

She explained, "You have to remember, I was very used to that kind of thing, cause I was — you know — a very big codependent with my own family." The actress also revealed, "And so I became that with Blake."

Julie Andrews posing in an unspecified image in 1960. | Source: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Growing up, Andrews thought singing would somehow free her stepfather and mother from their disappointment and alcoholism. In her book, she mentioned the "very stressful times" with her husband's hypochondria.

The Hollywood director also suffered from "horrible bouts of depression." The actress found herself trying to pull Edwards through his unstable moods and suicidal anxiety, confessing this about his self-medicating with oxycodone and Demerol:

"It was one of those monsters that got hold of him so strongly that he couldn't resist."

THE COUPLE ADOPTED TWO CHILDREN FROM VIETNAM - INSIDE THEIR BLENDED FAMILY

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Jennifer, Kevin, Blake, and Amy Edwards with Julie Andrews as the film director gets honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 3, 1991. | Source: Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Despite their trials and tribulations, Andrews and Edwards still had enough love to spare. The couple adopted two daughters from South East Asia in Vietnam, and the actress helped change the law in their country regarding adoption.  

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Welcoming the two girls led their home to become a blended one as Andrews had one child and was already a stepmother to her husband's children. The star was determined to manage it all, the busy work schedule, tours, movies, television shows, and parenthood.

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews pose for a photo on September 13, 1986. | Source: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

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Andrews maintained it all because she worried about her family's finances, primarily because of Edwards' habit of overspending. Despite living with people from three countries, several pets, five children, and her husband's ailments, the actress stayed focused.

She said, "we will have harmony in this house," and pushed forward! As she soldiered on, the star was not ashamed to admit that things weren't always smooth, stating, "But it is difficult," adding:

“And besides being a stepmother, I’m an adoptive mother, too."

Julie Andrews with her newborn daughter, Emma, on November 28, 1962. | Source: McCabe/Express/Getty Images

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Edwards' wife continued, "I have my natural-born daughter and Blake's two children, and then we adopted two children … can you imagine the hodge-podge?" Their adopted daughters, Joanna Lynne and Amy Leigh, were taken in at five and two months, respectively.

The girls came from a Vietnamese orphanage, with Andrews saying: "We wanted a child, and it hadn't happened." She explained how she felt welcoming their daughter, stating, "Amy came into our lives, and it was wonderful."

Emma Walton Hamilton and her mother Julie Andrews promote "Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies" on October 8, 2009, in New York City. | Source: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images

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As Saigon began falling, the actress and her husband reached out to their orphanage where Amy came from and asked for another child when things cleared up in the country. The star said, "So suddenly Joanna was with us, and they were not sisters, but like sisters."

Bringing up the two girls wasn't an easy journey, with the parents initially thinking about what they could do for the children. They didn't consider what the girls would face having to adapt to living in America.

Amy Edwards, Julie Andrews, Blake Edwards, and Jennifer Edwards at a ceremony honoring Blake with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 3, 1991. | Source: Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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However, Edwards and Andrews' love for the pair helped them keep going. After adopting the children, the decision led to her choosing to step down from her career, with the star explaining:

“I wanted to be there. To make a proper protein breakfast for them before school in the morning."

She elaborated further on what she wished to be present for, like "To go to parent-teacher interviews. It is important." The actress also shared, "I do admire women who manage to do both. I tried, and it is extremely difficult."

ANDREWS LOST HER SINGING VOICE YEARS BEFORE LOSING HER HUSBAND

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Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards embracing on December 31, 1993. | Source: Pascal Le Segretain/Sygma/Getty Images

While dealing with the big family and the partially abandoned acting career, Andrews had to contest another challenge. In her 2019 "Lorraine" interview, the star revealed that she no longer sang.

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She explained how this was because of an operation she had that wasn't successful. However, the light at the end of the tunnel for Andrews was that she got to write more when she lost her singing capabilities!

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews at the 10th Annual Ella Awards on April 25, 2001, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Vince Bucci/Newsmakers/Getty Images

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One of her daughters once noted how she'd found a new way of using her voice! The songstress had spent two years suffering from vocal issues while starring in Broadway's "Victor/Victoria."

[Julie] Andrews remembered her late husband [Blake Edwards] as the most "charismatic, mercurial gentleman" she had ever met.

She was diagnosed with a vocal cord lesion, or as Andrews described the "weak spot" as more like a cyst. Her doctor suggested getting surgery to remove the lesion and was told there was no risk to her singing voice.

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In June 1997, she had an operation at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and sadly her vocal cords were left scarred. Andrews's speaking voice ended up raspy, and her singing voice was gone; the following year, her husband sadly said:

"I don’t think she’ll sing again. It’s an absolute tragedy."

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences 23rd Annual Nominees Luncheon on February 9, 2004, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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Little did she know the most significant tragedy was about to strike her and her children. In 2010, Edwards died after battling pneumonia and spending years fighting chronic fatigue syndrome; during a "Good Morning Britain" interview five years later, Andrews said:

"We were married 41 years and it was a love story, it was. Success in our marriage was to take it one day at a time and so, lo and behold, 41 years later there we still were."

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The former vocalist confessed, "I'm still dealing with [his death]." She admitted, "There are days when it's perfectly wonderful, and I am myself, and then it's suddenly—sock you in the middle of your gut, and you think 'ah God, I wish he were here.'"

However, she felt she hadn't completely lost him, saying, "But he is in a way, I think one carries that love always." When the film director passed on, his wife had been by his side.

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Even though it's been years since the loss, the actress still mourned him and "carries that love." Andrews remembered her late husband as the most "charismatic, mercurial gentleman" she had ever met.

She felt the mold was broken when Edwards was born and never came across anyone else who was as sophisticated and witty as he was. Andrews relied on those traits and confessed, "I miss him like crazy."

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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