Julie Andrews will be awarded the 2019 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, the festival announced on Friday.
The star of “Mary Poppins,” “The Sound of Music,” “Victor Victoria” and many more will be recognized for her international success as part of the 76th annual edition of the festival. The decision was made by the board of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, following the proposal made by the Director of the Festival, Alberto Barbera.
“I am so honored to have been selected as this year’s recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement,” Andrews said in a statement. “The Venice Film Festival has long been recognized as one of the world’s most esteemed International Film Festivals. I thank La Biennale for this acknowledgement of my work and I look forward to being in that beautiful city in September for this very special occasion.”
Last year’s winners of the Lifetime Achievement prize went to director David Cronenberg and actress Vanessa Redgrave.
Regarding this award, Alberto Barbera declared: “At a very young age, Ms. Andrews made a name for herself in the music halls of London and, later, on Broadway thanks to her remarkable singing and acting talent. Her first Hollywood movie, ‘Mary Poppins,’ gave her top-tier star status, which was later confirmed in another treasured film, ‘The Sound of Music.’
“Those two roles projected her into the Olympus of international stardom, making her an iconic figure adored by several generations of moviegoers,” Barbera added.
He continued: “Above and beyond the different interpretations that can be given to her two most famous films (and highlighting the transgressive value of her characters rather than their apparent conservatism), it must be remembered that Andrews went out of her way to avoid remaining confined as an icon of family movies. She accepted roles that were diverse, dramatic, provocative and imbued with scathing irony. For example, ‘The Americanization of Emily’ by Arthur Hiller, and the many movies directed by her husband Blake Edwards, with whom she formed a very profound and long-lasting artistic partnership, a marvelous example of human and professional devotion to a captivating esthetic project that prevailed over the commercial success of the individual movies. 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.”
Andrews is an Oscar winner for her work in “Mary Poppins,” this following an already legendary Broadway career. Her most recent on screen role came in 2010’s “Tooth Fairy,” and younger audiences will recognize her from “The Princess Diaries” films.
More recently, she’s done voice work, including as the aquatic creature the Kharaten in the DC blockbuster “Aquaman.” But she also voiced characters in the “Shrek” films and “Despicable Me” and “Minions” series.
The Venice International Film Festival runs Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.