Pop Culture | 00s | 90s
Julie Andrews' Voice Was Ruined And I Still Hate That Doctor
Julie Andrews was a part of basically everyone's childhood. Whether it was Sound of Music or Mary Poppins, the British icon was basically a member of your family.
Then, of course, she starred in the Princess Diaries series as Queen Clarice Renaldi. Honestly, Julie Andrews should just be queen of the world at this point.
Andrews sang us through our childhoods with her stunning, clear, and classically trained soprano voice. Her performances are always happy, as she has stated she prefers singing music that i s"bright and sunny", choosing to avoid songs that were sad, depressing, upsetting, or written in a minor key.
But in 1997, Andrews lost the voice that touched millions.
In 1997, Andrews found out she had a non-cancerous nodule on her throat, which was compromising her vocal chords. While nodules don't always need surgery to be treated, Andrews opted to go under the knife at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
The surgery, regrettably, did not go as planned.
"The operation that I had left me without a voice and without a certain piece of my vocal chords," said Andrews. “Singing has been a cherished a gift, and my inability to sing has been a devastating blow."
In an interview with Barbara Walters in 2000, Andrews did not sound optimistic about being able to use her beautiful voice again.
“Well, I can only say I hope so,” Andrews said. “I have to be optimistic. I think to some degree I’m in … a form of denial about it.”To not sing with an orchestra, to not be able to communicate through my voice which I’ve done all my life and not to be able to phrase lyrics and give people that kind of joy, I think I would be totally devastated."
Andrews ended up suing the hospital for malpractice, noting she may never be able to sing again. She was asking for unspecified damages. Andrews and her legal team settled the lawsuit, but the terms were not disclosed.
"I am glad to have settled this case in a favorable manner and am glad to close this chapter on an event which was unfortunate for all concerned," Andrews released in a statement. "I am very grateful to my attorneys, Peter Parcher and Orin Snyder, for representing me with such compassion and excellence."
Now, Andrews is restricted to her lower register, and takes part in what she calls "speak-singing," which she did in Princess Diaries 2.
“It was very moving because, you know, most of the crew hadn’t heard Julie singing in a long time,” the film's director, Garry Marshall said. “… Guys with tattoos got a little teary.”
While Julia Andrews may have moved on, I sure as hell haven't. I was hoping to hear Andrews sing Spoonful of Sugar or My Favorite Things for the rest of my life, but I guess I'll have to settle for the recordings.