Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards had a marriage that was fittingly “wonderfully Hollywood” and lasted 41 years before his death in 2010.
The two first met in 1959 with a brief conversation they shared from the inside of either of their cars.
“I was going one way and he was going the other,” Andrews shared on Good Morning Britain in 2015, “he rolled down the window after smiling a couple of times and he said, ‘Are you going where I just came from?’”
Edwards admitted that he had waited weeks to finally say something to the soon-to-be Mary Poppins star.
“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,” he remembered. “Eventually I said, ‘Hi’.”
Over the course of the next ten years, they fell in love and eventually married in 1969, bringing their children from previous marriages into their newly blended family. By the mid-1970s, they adopted two daughters from Vietnam, Amy and Joanna.
Edwards was a movie writer and director, and was most known for the Pink Panther franchise and the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Both being prevalent in Hollywood, they decided to extend their relationship professionally and collaborated on a number of projects, including 10 (1979), S.O.B. (1981), and Victor/Victoria (1982).
Edwards wrote these roles for Andrews during a brief hiatus in Switzerland the family of five took to escape Hollywood for a bit in the 1970s. During this time, Andrews described Edwards as “one of the bravest writers I know” as he “exorcised his demons” through his writing while in Switzerland.
Edwards had been afraid that Andrews’ roles as Mary Poppins and Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music “pigeonholed” her career as a musical, cheery character. And so he wrote the roles for her in their collaborations in an attempt to show Julie’s acting skills in a new light.
Although not all of their joint projects did well, Julie still admired his skills and loved working with him.
In 2019, Andrews held an event in New York City promoting her second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, she talked about her late husband and his battle with depression.
“Blake was the most charismatic and interesting fellow you could possibly meet,” she said. “He was hilariously funny and had such a dark sense of humor that just put me away, that I loved so much. But he was also, at times, a very depressive personality and had a very difficult time.
“I knew him very well, and he knew me very well,” she continued, “we were married for 41 years before he passed — but he did have horrible bouts of depression, and he wrote more and more biographically the longer our lives together went on.”
Despite loving to work with her husband on their films together, she still credited musicals as being the most enjoyable experiences for herself.
“I loved doing the films [with Edwards], no doubt about it, but the movie musicals were the most enjoyable of all, because, honestly, to have great orchestras and that music being piped into the set was a different, joyous atmosphere.”
Blake died in 2010 from a 10-day bout with pneumonia. Five years after his death, Andrews still struggled to accept that he was gone.
“We were married 41 years and it was a love story, it was,” she said on Good Morning Britain. “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.
“I’m still dealing with [his death],” she continued. “There are days when it’s perfectly wonderful and I am myself and then it suddenly – sock you in the middle of your gut and you think ‘Ah God I wish he were here’… But he is in a way, I think one carries that love always.”