Oscar-winning actress and singer Julie Andrews will be honoured by the Venice Film Festival with its Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement.
Best known for her iconic roles in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, Andrews has starred in more than 40 movies, including a memorable performance as Victoria Grant and Count Victor Grezhinski in Victor Victoria, which was directed by her late husband, Blake Edwards.
Born in 1935 into a musical family in Walton-on-Thames, England, Andrews was already a stage star, first in Britain and then on Broadway - where she was nominated for Tony Awards for her roles in Camelot and My Fair Lady - before Mary Poppins, for which she won an Oscar. She has been a beloved stage, screen, and TV star ever since.
More recently Andrews starred in Garry Marshall's Pretty Princess alongside Anne Hathaway, in 2001, which was one of the most successful family films that year, and reprised her role as Queen Renaldi in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
In 2010 Andrews starred as the Tooth Fairy Matriarch in Michael Lambeck's Tooth Fairy, in a performance praised by Variety as "perfect in every way." She has also recently had several voice roles in the Shrek and Despicable Me franchises and in recent Warner Bros. blockbuster Aquaman.
"This Golden Lion is the well-deserved recognition of an extraordinary career which has admirably parsed popular success with artistic ambition, without ever bowing to facile compromises," said Venice Film Festival Artistic Director Alberto Barbera in a statement.
Barbera noted that Andrews went out of her way "to avoid remaining confined" as a family movies icon by accepting roles that were "diverse, dramatic, provocative and imbued with scathing irony," he said, citing her role as a war widow with a romantic penchant for falling in love with soldiers in Arthur Hiller's anti-war romcom The Americanization of Emily.
"I am so honored to have been selected as this year's recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement," said Andrews, who thanked the fest's parent organization, the Venice Biennale, "for this acknowledgement of my work."
The 76th Venice Film Festival will run August 28-September 7.
Australian Associated Press