CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton
Aired November 21, 2002 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: (voice-over) Tonight, her golden voice is one of our favorite things. Will it ever sing again after throat surgery went horribly wrong five years ago?
KING: A rare talk with the one, the only, Julie Andrews, a legend of stage and screen, also an author and mom. She's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We have a real treat in store tonight. Julie Andrews returns to LARRY KING LIVE, what a pleasure to have her with us.
Later in the program, her daughter will join us from Sag Harbor. Emma Walton Hamilton is Julie's daughter and co-author in the "Dumpy" series. The newest one is "Dumpy and The Big Storm." Which you see, written by Julie Andrew Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrated by Tony -- this is a family thing.
JULIE ANDREWS, SINGER, AUTHOR: Big family thing.
KING: How did -- before we get to a lot of things and I am bringing your daughter later, how did "Dumpy" come about?
ANDREWS: As briefly as I can make it, Larry, I was asked by my publishers if I had anything for very small children. At the same time, my daughter Emma was wondering where she could find books for her young son. She was looking for particular things. He is truck crazy, as most young boys are, as you probably know.
KING: Trucks and Planes -- that's it -- and trains -- and dinosaurs.
ANDREWS: Yes. Anyway, when I -- in my research, I thought, I'll ask Emma what does my grandson Sam, if you could pick any book from the library, what would you love? And she said, Mom, there's no contest, it has to be about trucks, but I can't find any. I can find how-to's and trucks on the site and trucks on the job, but none with a little story or family message or feeling of cuddliness about it. And so I said well then, in that case I think we better write one, and so we began. KING: Wrote it together?
ANDREWS: We wrote it together.
KING: Who came up with the idea of "Dumpy"?
ANDREWS: That's my grandson's name for dump trucks. Before he was even -- when he was proverbial he would go,"dumpy", meaning a dump truck.
KING: Hate to tell you what my daughter when she was a kid used to call trucks.
KING: Won't bring that up.
ANDREWS: Not for television.
KING: "Dumpy and The Big Storm," is the newest, apparently a big -- we'll ask her daughter. A big storm is forecast for Apple Harbor and Charlie, Popup and Dumpy have to make preparations on the farm.
Not easy writing for children, is it?
ANDREWS: It's like trying to write a Haiku poem of sorts. You boil it down to essence. Illustrations show so much. And you have to have narrative. You have to have a small message.
KING: You can't write down, though.
ANDREWS: No, in fact, we don't. We try very hard to make it as one or two words that they may say to Mommy when she's reading the book, what does that mean?
KING: I also get word that Julie Andrews is going to do an Eloise movie for Disney?
ANDREWS: It's all but sealed, signed and settled.
KING: and you will play?
I will play Eloise's guardian nanny. You know, the wonderful books by Kay Thompson and Hillary Knight. They're going to be done, I think Disney has the franchise for them, and so we're making the first two.
KING: So you continue to be active, right?
ANDREWS: Honestly, Larry, I'm busier than I have ever been. It's wonderful and crazy especially with the books as well.
KING: How much do you miss singing?
ANDREWS: An enormous amount, you can imagine.
KING: Then, how since you've sung on a stage?
ANDREWS: Well, I think it was '96 was when I last sang.
KING: Six years.
ANDREWS: It seems like yesterday. But, in fact, it is six years. I miss it every day.
KING: Without being -- I know lawsuits are still up in the air.
ANDREWS: No, they're done now.
KING: There all done?
ANDREWS: Yes, but it's one of those things even though they're done, I'm not supposed to talk about it too much.
KING: Can you tell us what was the illness that caused you have to go to a doctor in the first place.
ANDREWS: Everybody, of course, thought it was cancer and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and god knows what, and it wasn't.
KING: It was?
ANDREWS: It was simply something called -- I can't think of the right -- appropriate word. A little liquid filled cyst from just sheer overwork. I had been doing the show for a year and a half.
ANDREWS: Yes, and also probably the wear and tear on my throat had been there since "My Fair Lady" in the old, days.
KING: Now, the suit was over the surgery, right
AANDREWS: And the suit was over the surgery, yes.
KING: So you now, when they say cannot sing, meaning?
ANDREWS: I cannot sing, no. I mean, I might...
KING: You could sing at a party in little low notes.
ANDREWS: A few low notes maybe. But certainly nothing -- none of the old material that I enjoy singing so much. None of the wonderful ballads. And I do miss it.
KING: You can't do my favorite thing at Christmas time.
ANDREWS: No, I might be able to do it as bass down here.
KING: When you first heard -- when whoever told you, Julie, you're not going to sing again, what was that like?
ANDREWS: It didn't happen like that. When I came around I had a funny hunch that something had not gone right, but actually it was that well maybe it just needs more time, maybe it just needs more time. Then I began to panic, and it got worse and worse instead of better and better.
KING: Is this hopeless or are people in medical areas somewhere in the world working this kind of problem?
ANDREWS: Somewhere in the world indeed they are in Boston, at Boston Mass, that wonderful eye-ear infirmary that they have there at the hospital. They are doing phenomenal work. I am helping them spear head it and research it.
KING: Do you think you might sing again?
ANDREWS: My guess is that I won't, but actually it's now not about me any more, it's about how many other people, particularly not only people in the performing arts, but people...
KING: Who talk a lot.
ANDREWS: Anything from a clergyman to a teacher in school, and to premature babies who have, because they're premature, have little tubes put down their vulnerable little wind pipes and they are damaged for life.
KING: so when we hear like umpires in baseball, ball one.
KING: That will take its toll.
ANDREWS: It does take its toll. Anything that -- those little tiny vocal chords slam together so many thousands of time.
KING: As the years effect by Ronald Reagan had problem hearing because of gun shots in movies.
ANDREWS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Blakes that, too, my husband.
KING: Who by the way, was one of the all time great guests.
ANDREWS: I am so pleased. Imagine what it's like in my house.
KING: What is it like, because we know he's not normal. In a fun-loving way, the suicide story is one of the greatest things. How could you have is a laugh filled story about suicide.
ANDREWS: But you can, and...
KING: What's it like to be married to him? You're normal compared to him. Your... ANDREWS: Yes. Compared to him, yes. It's a roller coaster ride. It's never boring, I can assure you. I think I have laughed harder and longer. and he has made me really roll on the floor and weep with laughter.
KING: How have you dealt with loss? I think of the last -- since you've been here, Dudley Moore.
ANDREWS: My. Well, a lot of people have passed on. And Dudley, I think, is one of the saddest of them all. What a waste.
KING: Have you talked to him?
ANDREWS: Yes, I saw him not too long before he passed away.
KING: He knew he was dying?
ANDREWS: Yes. Yes, he did and...
KING: You had others contemporaries.
ANDREWS: A lot of the people have passed away, a lot that I have had the pleasure of fun and honor to work with. Holden and Preston, and Richard Mulligan.
KING: William Holden and Robert Preston, what a talent.
ANDREWS: So many Robert Webber (ph). Just many, many, many friends, and a lot of wonderful camera men and people like that. But I think it happens as you get a little older.
KING: Yes, it goes with aging.
ANDREWS: Goes with the territory.
KING: Julie Andrews is our guest. We're going to talk about parenting and show business. Her very talented daughter will be with us later. And the newest from the both of them, is "Dumpy and The Big Storm" from Hyperion, a division of Disney. Take Disney, AOL Time Warner and Paramount, and nothing left in the world. One of them's going to buy the White House. I don't mean literally. We'll be right back with Julie Andrews. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no way on God's earth that I'm going to bear my (UNINTELLIGIBLE) out there on that stage. I thought I could...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can. You can.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mind say yes, but my body says no. I know what it means to the film. I know it means that I'm not being a trooper, and things like that. It's out of my hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sally (ph), we'll clear everybody off the sound stage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It won't help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just one shot. We will set the lights, turn the camera, everybody will leave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the guy in the Jack in the Box?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll blind fold him!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back with Julie Andrews. One other thing about Blake, and he'll probably come up again as well, there are some who thought that he hurt your career a little. Here you were, you had sky rocketed, and then he got you into off-beat things. Valid or not?
ANDREWS: Depends which way you look at it, Larry. You can see the glass half full, or half empty. From my point of view, he offered me some roles that weren't coming across my desk in any other way, and I think "Victoria" and "S.O.B" and "Ten" -- how could any actress refuse those?
KING: And who could say that was a career drop?
ANDREWS: Yes. And you know, we're not mutually exclusive to each other, and -- but the truth is that for so many years, we've done about seven things together, eight maybe. We've enjoyed working together. We can travel with the family. But as I say, we're not exclusive.
KING: You know, come to think of it, you have been involved in some -- in "My Fair Lady" on stage, one of the great classics of musical theater. As someone once said, Maybe the perfect show.
KING: Not one moment would you change? You wouldn't change one thing in "My Fair Lady."
ANDREWS: Not in "My Fair Lady." Not a thing, no.
KING: Then you go to film, and you get "Sound of Music," which you also had on a stage, and you did the whole thing, and "Poppins."
KING: I mean -- how many...
ANDREWS: How lucky can a girl get?
KING: It was actually -- do you buy this -- lucky that you didn't get "My Fair Lady?"
ANDREWS: I do buy it. I absolutely do.
KING: Because you got "Poppins," right?
ANDREWS: It just shows that you can't really say where your next chance is going to come from.
KING: When you were told that you would not get the movie role of the Broadway show that brought you stardom, how did you react?
ANDREWS: I understood it at the time.
KING: You did?
ANDREWS: I did. I can't say that -- in retrospect, I have thought Oh, I'd love to have just once put that role down definitively. I have to admit that. But at the time, I wasn't known as a movie star. I had never made a film. I was only -- not that big a fish in a much smaller pond, because America didn't know that I existed at that time, and they needed a star.
KING: Then the "Poppins" role came right in at that time?
ANDREWS: Right after "My Fair Lady" -- about three months later, there was Mr. Disney.
KING: Did you like the film of "My Fair Lady?"
ANDREWS: Yes, I did. I thought -- you know, Audrey was a great friend of mine.
KING: What a lady.
ANDREWS: But such a lovely lady, and we got on very, very well together. She once said to me, she said, Julie, she said, You should have done it, but I didn't have the guts to turn it down.
KING: Did they ask you to sing for it?
ANDREWS: No. No they didn't.
KING: Someone else sang for it.
ANDREWS: Yes, Marny Nixon (ph).
KING: Great voice, but no one ever sees.
ANDREWS: I know, and she does have the most beautiful voice.
KING: How did you get the original part in "Lady?"
ANDREWS: I had been on -- in a show called "The Boyfriend" on Broadway, and I had had a modest success with it, and I had had a year's contract, and everybody else in the company had a two-year contract, and I had sort of -- in my rather foolish way, said, I can't be away from home for two years without seeing my family.
KING: Home being England?
ANDREWS: England, yes, and I couldn't afford to bring them to me. Salary just didn't allow for that kind of thing, and so I said, No, I'll just do it for a year, and they accepted. So I did it for a year, and I was just about to go home, and I received a phone call from a gentleman who said, I represent Mrs. Lerner and Lowe (ph) who are writing a musical based on Shore's "Pigmaleon" (ph). And could you just tell me how much longer are you scheduled to be in "The Boyfriend?"
And I said, Oh, I'm going home in two weeks time. And there was a long pause on the end of the phone, and the gentleman said, Oh my God. I told the guys that you probably were busy, but what the hell, it would only cost a dime, I'd make a phone call.
KING: Then you did "Camelot."
ANDREWS: Then I did "Camelot" with wondrous...
KING: What was it like to work with Richard Burton and Goulet?
ANDREWS: Pretty nice. Pretty nice. They were both two of the handsomest fellows and the most charming fellows, and I didn't know which way to look they were both so gorgeous.
KING: Goulet has often told me he was second rung. Burton got first dibs.
ANDREWS: I think he got first dibs on everybody.
KING: What was Richard's greatness? He couldn't sing -- or could he?
ANDREWS: I don't know. When someone walks into a room, and man, woman, child, animal, everything falls still and swivels to look at that person, there's something coming out of their pores, and Richard had it.
KING: He wasn't tall.
ANDREWS: He wasn't tall. He was kind of barrel-chested, but the voice was extraordinary. The speaking voice was marvelous, and there was this charismatic image, and he also had a kind of -- he had a kind of black soul which everybody wanted to know about more.
KING: A dark side.
ANDREWS: Know more about is what I am trying to say.
KING: To work with, was he good to work with?
ANDREWS: Yes, he was. I mean, there were days when he could make -- with the exact same speech, he would make the audience laugh, and then another night with the exact same speech, he would make them cry. And he could manipulate audiences. I sometimes, with Richard and with Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady," I would find myself standing and forgetting that I was supposed to be Eliza or Guinevere and just say, How do they do it? What a learning experience.
KING: Now, did that follow "Lady?"
ANDREWS: "Camelot" followed "My Fair Lady."
KING: And then "Sound of Music" after that?
ANDREWS: Now, I didn't do "Sound of Music" on stage. Mary Martin (ph) did that.
KING: Yes, she did it, but the movie came next?
KING: Oh, "Poppins" was before.
ANDREWS: "Poppins" was first then a little movies called "The Americanization of Emily" with my friend Jimmy Garner.
KING: One of my favorite movies -- James Garner.
KING: Who you did "Victor/Victoria" with.
ANDREWS: That is right.
KING: But "The Americanization of Emily" should be re-released.
ANDREWS: Well, you know, it's sort of a small classic in its way. It just keeps -- I keep seeing it popping up. And people always talk about it.
KING: I want to tell you something. I don't deal in anything personal -- my personal thing. There's a scene in that movie where you're sitting on the edge of the bed, Jimmy is -- Garner is standing in his American uniform, he's a captain in the American Army or Air Force, and you fold your legs, and look at him and he looks at you -- you were the greatest turn on.
ANDREWS: Oh, thank you. Well, actually, I had the greatest turn on standing in front of me, you see.
KING: Emily. Emily. Emily.
ANDREWS: That was my Johnny Mandell (ph).
KING: Of a marvelous view, and my eyes realize a fantasy.
ANDREWS: Good for you, Larry.
KING: Emily, Emily, it's you. We'll be back -- you can tell I like her. We'll be back with Julie Andrews. We are going to meet her daughter later too. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come to think of it, I don't have a girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have a man. Do you think we can keep it on that level?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a chance. It is going to be just one of those things, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like your spirit, commander.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from England who dared greatness in America, whose career can be summed up in one word, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with the incredible Julie Andrews. With her daughter, "Dumpy and the Big Storm" is now available everywhere books are sold. You going to start -- I'll ask your daughter about that. You're going to have your own imprint.
ANDREWS: Yes, with my daughter. She and I...
KING: At Hyperion?
ANDREWS: No. With my old publishers that were Harper Collins. This is the last of a series that we did for Hyperion.
KING: So now we're going to have an Andrews imprint.
ANDREWS: Yes, it's going to be called "The Julie Andrews Collection." And we debut next fall, 2003.
KING: Publishing only children's books or everything?
ANDREWS: Children's books. But hopefully everything within a range of children's ages.
KING: You're going to -- deal just about closed that you will be in Eloise as her...
ANDREWS: As her guardian nanny, really.
KING: Nanny again. ANDREWS: But a different one this time, thank God.
KING: Was Mary Poppins a perfect person?
ANDREWS: Practically, yes.
KING: He's been here a few times. Didn't you love working with him, Dick Van Dyke?
ANDREWS: Yes. A honey. I mean, just the nicest guy.
KING: You got...
ANDREWS: I see him quite a lot.
KING: You got a Kennedy Center Honor, the highest honor I think we can pay in the United States.
ANDREWS: I know.
KING: Do you not think Dick deserves one?
ANDREWS: Yes I do. Absolutely.
KING: They've overlooked him. There's still time.
ANDREWS: From your ears to someone's. From your mouth.
KING: If anybody deserves it.
ANDREWS: Yes, he does.
KING: What was that like to stand up on that stage? You don't stand on a stage.
ANDREWS: It is the greatest spoiling.
KING: The whole weekend.
ANDREWS: It's a whole weekend. I'm sure you've been, Larry. I had never been to one before. Everybody said, You have to do nothing. For once in your life, you don't have to sing for your supper. You don't have to do anything.
KING: Sit in the box near the president and let wonderful people praise you.
ANDREWS: Just take it. Guilt rises up in you.
KING: Who spoke for you?
ANDREWS: My chum Carol.
KING: Carol Burnett.
ANDREWS: And, of course, the five of us. It was Pavarotti and Quincy and Van Clyburn and Jack Nicholson and myself. And we just all bonded.
KING: Not a bad group.
KING: How's Carol holding up by the way?
ANDREWS: I think she's OK. She's a very brave and strong lady.
KING: Tough loss her child, though.
ANDREWS: Not just tough, Larry. I'd say it's maybe one that you could never recover from.
KING: I can't imagine how people go on.
ANDREWS: It is the worst nightmare in the world, sad.
KING: Tell me the "Sound of Music" story. Did you like that right away? Now here's the reverse. Mary Martin does the play, you get the part.
ANDREWS: I think that Disney was instrumental in helping me get the role because he normally, in those days, never allowed footage to be seen of films that were still being made. And they asked Robert Weiss -- asked as favor whether he could see a little footage on me, and Disney opened his doors and said, Please.
KING: The "Sound of Music" is not a perfect show, is it? I mean, it has some...
ANDREWS: I think it's one of the rare cases, the film was actually better than the stage show.
KING: The stage show...
ANDREWS: Mary Rogers, Rogers daughter acknowledges that. That and probably the "King and I" was glorious on stage. But I think those two probably were equaled on film.
KING: Did you like doing it as much as it appeared to the viewer?
ANDREWS: Yes. Nobody told us when we went to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that it had the world's seventh annual highest rainfall. So of course it teamed with rain the whole time. But, yes.
KING: Where did they shoot that shot on the mountain?
ANDREWS: Way up on a mountain. One was under top.
KING: You found a beautiful day, though.
ANDREWS: No. We found a chink in a rainy day. Everybody was out there with those finders that look for the sun. You've got two minutes before it comes out. KING: How long did it take to shoot that scene?
ANDREWS: A long time.
KING: You sing it in a studio, right?
ANDREWS: You prerecord.
KING: Then you lip it.
ANDREWS: The you lip sync it later. You prerecord it hoping that you're going to get it right to look as though you really are. You roughly know thanks to the prework where you'll be and what you'll be doing.
KING: Why do you think -- I say this because my kids do it -- little children love that movie?
ANDREWS: Oh, because I think it's an everybody lives happily ever after story. It's got some thrills and adventures. It's got tons of fun. Beautiful scenery. Nuns. I mean, everything.
KING: Rogers and Hammerstein.
ANDREWS: And glorious music.
KING: "The Hills Are Alive." Fun to sing that.
ANDREWS: It was.
KING: Is there a musical you would have liked to have done? "King and I?"
ANDREWS: Yes, absolutely. And I was fortunate enough to do it as a recording. I made a recording of it with John Marcherry (ph). It was wonderful to do.
KING: But you would have liked to have done it on stage?
ANDREWS: I would have loved to have done. A certain lady called Gertrude Lawrence did it. Made her mark on it.
KING: The American musical has changed.
KING: It is now the hair sprays or producers.
ANDREWS: Right. But thank God they're there because at least some of that wonderful humor is coming back to musicals. Because for awhile there was a decade of what I call -- and no less brilliant but they were kind of doom and gloom musicals like "Les Mis" and "Phantom" and very, very dark. And it was an era I think. And now suddenly they're coming alive again.
KING: When you go see a musical, is it tough for you? ANDREWS: If it's a great anything, if it's a great musical, a great play I think, oh my God, I understand how they feel up there and I'd love to be up there, too.
KING: Did you ever turn down something you felt sorry about?
ANDREWS: Yes, couple of things.
ANDREWS: Well, you know what? I'd really rather not discuss it. I turned down one movie and lady got an Academy Award for it.
KING: Then you can say it if she got the award.
ANDREWS: I turned down "The Prime of Miss Jean Brody" with Maggie Smith. I think she got the Academy Award.
KING: She did.
ANDREWS: And she's a good chum.
KING: You didn't like that script?
ANDREWS: I loved the script but, again I just finished playing a nanny and I had done it in "Poppins" and really in "Sound of Music."
KING: Was -- did you have a good early life growing up in England? You had ups and downs didn't you?
ANDREWS: Yes, I think you could say it was good in that that was utterly unique as everyone's early life was. Mine was mostly to do with Vaudeville, my parents being in show business.
KING: You were like born in a trunk. The old Judy Garland song.
ANDREWS: Sort of. My mother and stepfather were in Vaudeville. And my stepfather was an alcoholic. It was a lot of roller coaster times. But it's all I knew. I think they did the best they could under the circumstances, with me and all the family.
KING: So you don't grow up hating parents?
ANDREWS: I think you grow up understanding them, if you're lucky. And I do.
KING: The wonderful Julie Andrews. Last year a Kennedy Center honoree, author of "Dumpy" -- how'd you like to be that? The Kennedy Center honoree, the star of "My Fair Lady," "Mary Poppins," "Sound of Music" and the co-author of "Dumpy and the Big Storm."
We'll be right back and we'll meet the co-author in a little while. We'll be right back with "Dumpy's" author after this..
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care if you are a man.
ANDREWS: I am not a man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE I still don't care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Julie Andrews. Are you working on an autobiography? Is that true?
ANDREWS: Yes, I am.
KING: How far along with we?
ANDREWS: I'd say about a thirty-twoeth along, a sixteenth along. I've done...
KING: Is it difficult?
ANDREWS: Yes. It is.
ANDREWS: Because you're not writing fantasy. You're writing a reality. And it's really just correlating all the facts has taken me the better part of a year, just to sort of say, what year did I do this? Is the memory correct?
KING: But in order to be -- in order for people to like it, it has to be warts and all.
ANDREWS: Warts and all.
KING: You can't write a tap.
ANDREWS: No, and I don't want to. If -- if I could, if I could just give a sense of the times and the history that I saw of the last days of vaudeville in England, I think that's what I would love to capture. And I'm only going to deal with my life up to a certain point. Up to "My Fair Lady." KING: Oh is that -- you're not going to take it into...
ANDREWS: No, I don't think so. Not on this.
KING: Not Hollywood, not...
ANDREWS: No, I think that's the part that most people know about, or if they care to know.
KING: Is making movies different or harder or less hard than the theater?
KING: Yes to all three?
ANDREWS: Yes to all three. Yes, in that they're both hard, they're both difficult. Funnily enough, over the long haul over a long run, you do get very, weary, but at least you start -- on Broadway, you start at the beginning and you end up at the end and you can go to bed and put it to bed and it's done.
But film, you hold in your head because you never shoot in sequence. And it could be five or three months of really intense work where you're just hoping that all the pieces fit together.
KING: Isn't that harder to play the death scene before the birth scene?
ANDREWS: Yes, exactly. And that's -- roughly sums it up, Larry.
KING: When you went back to do "Victor/Victoria" on Broadway, was it fun to go back?
ANDREWS: Yes. I knew...
KING: You had been away a while.
ANDREWS: I know. I -- that was maybe the most terrifying night in the theater of my life was...
KING: ...I mean, I remember Blake and I were driving in from the country the last weekend before we opened and the whole skyline was in front of us. And I said, Blake, are we crazy? What do we think we're doing trying to bring something into this city?
KING: A successful movie. Bring it as a musical to Broadway. A movie first.
ANDREWS: Yes. It's not often done. But I knew that if I didn't do it then, I'd probably regret it for the rest of my life. Because I probably couldn't do it now and -- because of the energy and all of that.
KING: And then tell us, because time -- you know, people forget. You rejected a Tony.
ANDREWS: I did during "Victor/Victoria." I did, yes.
KING: At the end of one performance you did what?
ANDREWS: Mostly, I just got up and said that I was thrilled and honored to have been nominated, but in the light of the way I felt and in order to support my company, I felt I couldn't accept it.
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ANDREWS: I have searched my conscience and my heart and I find that, sadly, I cannot accept this nomination and I prefer -- I prefer instead to stand with the egregiously overlooked...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREWS: It did change the voting procedure and it did a lot of good. And I actually had -- it wasn't done as a vendetta against the Tony wing or anything like that. It was done as a kind of statement that something's not right in the...
KING: I don't know anyone who saw "Victor/Victoria" who didn't like it.
KING: Why did the critics not like it? I don't remember reading anything nice.
ANDREWS: No, I think it's amazing. It was -- we had standing ovations every night, packed houses every night. It was the most joyous company. The most beautiful looking shirt (ph). I really don't know. Maybe -- honest to God don't know. It's quite a puzzlement to me.
KING: All the costume changes you had to do.
KING: What was it like playing a man?
ANDREWS: Playing a woman playing a man.
KING: Playing a woman playing a man.
ANDREWS: It stood me on my head a little bit. Thank God I had the movie to think about it. But it was -- the play was so tailored to the audience believing it, that I didn't have to fool them too much. It was built in that they believed it. So it helped a lot.
KING: Theodore Bakel told me once, You know you leave a show -- and he did "Sound of Music."
ANDREWS: Yes. Yes.
KING: You know you leave a show when you're singing a song. He was singing "Adelweiss" one night...
ANDREWS: Yes. One of the prettiest songs from that show.
KING: And said, Did I leave a note on the door for the delivery man? If that occurs, get out.
KING: Did it happen to you?
ANDREWS: Yes, and the -- after about a year and a half of doing the same thing night after night, when you've found every single nuance that you can and you think, I'll never find another, and that sort of thing happens, it's like, panic sets in.
KING: We'll be right back with Julie Andrews. Some more moments with her. And then, in the last segment, we will be joined by her very talented daughter, the co-author of the "Dumpy" series. Don't go away.
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ANDREWS: I'm afraid, your majesty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Afraid?
ANDREWS: Marriage is rather frightening, isn't it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I must confess, your ladyship, it did occur to me but now not marrying seems infinitely more terrifying.
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KING: Aw. Those of you who wish to see Julie Andrews on stage again performing can see it this Christmas. What are you doing?
ANDREWS: I'm going to be going out on a tour. It's an evening of Christmas music, Christmas dancing, Christmas readings and I'm going out on something called "A Royal Christmas." We'll be doing the Northeast corridor of America and we'll be popping into Canada.
KING: To what, Boston?
ANDREWS: Everywhere from Chicago east.
KING: And since you can't sing...
ANDREWS: I can't sing. I'll be doing -- I'll be working with Chris Plumber, who will be starring. And Charlotte Church.
KING: Your co-star in "The Sound of Music."
ANDREWS: Yes. And Charlotte Church. And the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Kiev Ballet and the Westminster Choir.
KING: You'll be doing readings?
ANDREWS: Yes. He and I will be doing things together and separately.
KING: This is right after Thanksgiving?
ANDREWS: Right after Thanksgiving.
ANDREWS: Through November -- through December 22.
KING: So people living in the Northeast would have to check their newspapers. You will do one night in one town, one night in another.
ANDREWS: That's right. Just literally -- I think it's about 18 shows or 15 shows in 18 days.
KING: Have you done "Summer Stock?"
ANDREWS: No, I have never done "Summer Stock." No.
KING: The importance of the arts, Colin Powell stressed at the Kennedy Center Honors. He said, "A state department dinner for Julie," honoring you and other Kennedy Center honorees, he noted, "With the crumbling of the Taliban, Afghans were relishing the return of banned music and arts." And he said, "A heart filled with music cannot be silenced."
ANDREWS: No. There's this wonderful quote that when everything else is in dust and the rubble is all around you, it is the arts that will survive.
KING: But of all the nations, we may spend the least on it as a country.
ANDREWS: I know. It's true.
KING: We have no national theater.
ANDREWS: No. It's true. Well, at least England has a national theater, but as for government subsidy, it's a joke.
KING: Why do you think they're overlooked?
ANDREWS: Because I think people think -- politicians feel that probably we'll drum it up from somewhere else. We'll get the money somehow. But in fact, without it -- I mean, one of the things that I found so moving after 9/11 was that in the first three or four days the thing that I held on to was the background music that was being played on every television station.
Beautiful music. Music that made you rooted again.
KING: You forget. You want to think of music isn't important, watch a movie without it.
ANDREWS: Yes. Absolutely.
KING: Where were you on 9/11?
ANDREWS: In Long Island. And Blake was here in Los Angeles. And I got a phone call at about 9:00 my time. And it was Blake. In the morning. And he said, Are you OK?
KING: He was up already?
ANDREWS: He was up already.
KING: You hadn't turned on television.
ANDREWS: No, I hadn't?
KING: What were you doing?
ANDREWS: I was just getting up. And he said, are you OK? And I said, What do you mean? He said, Turn on your television. And, of course, from then on, like everybody else, I was glued to it.
KING: Did you have fears? Did you start -- you realized the world would never be the same.
ANDREWS: I did. I did. I think we all did. I mean...
KING: Scared? Right to be scared. Or is scared is wrong word?
ANDREWS: No. Heartbroken and that people could perpetuate such a monstrous thing. I mean, it's been happening for years in Europe, but it's the first time it happened to -- other than, I guess, Pearl Harbor.
KING: What do you make of how strong your prime minister -- you're an American citizen, aren't you?
ANDREWS: No, I'm not. I'm a British citizen.
KING: Get out!
ANDREWS: Accepting. Accepting. Just ask me about my feelings about America and you'll know what my heart is.
KING: What do you make of how well....
KING: ...your prime minister has done?
ANDREWS: I am very proud of him because Britain should support America. I mean, they did so much for us in World War II. And I was there. I mean, I was a child and I saw it all. And I'll never forget how grateful we must be to the Americans.
KING: You remember listening to Churchill?
ANDREWS: Yes. I certainly do.
KING: I remember Roosevelt.
ANDREWS: Yes. And all those wonderful broadcasts. And the news that came in every day. And I used to go out with the v-2, v-1 and v- 2 doodle bugs, as they were called, flying over head.
KING: You remember the rockets and the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
ANDREWS: Oh, I do. Yes.
ANDREWS: Used to have to go into either the subway or I used to have to go out in our garden with a pair of binoculars. Because I could tell the difference between the hum of a rocket and a real airplane.
And so I would blow my whistle for all the neighbors.
KING: How did the Brits do it every night? In single file almost. Another bombing by the jetties. Let's go to the subway.
ANDREWS: Well, I grew up knowing only war, so for me, it was the way things were. It wasn't pleasant, by any means. But my mother used to say, Oh, Julie, if you could only have known it in pre-war times. And of course, that's what we're living in, you know, now.
KING: When we come back, in our final segment, we will meet Emma Walton Hamilton, the daughter of Julie Andrews, the co-author of "Dumpy and the Big Storm." Don't go away.
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KING: Joining Julie Andrews here at our studios in Los Angeles is her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton from Sag Harbor, New York where she lives. She's the co-author of the "Dumpy" series and the founder and co-artistic director of the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, New York.
Where in the line of your children is Emma?
ANDREWS: She's my natural born daughter, and, in fact, she's right smack in the middle in terms of Blake's children, my child and ours together.
KING: How do you like writing children's books, Emma?
EMMA WALTON HAMILTON, FOUNDER, BAY STREET THEATER: I love it. It's a dream come true, and all the more so sharing it with mom.
KING: So how does it work? She writes something, you write -- how do you work it as collaborators?
HAMILTON: Actually, we tend to -- we usually start off in the same room, if possible, which is awfully hard, given both of our different schedules and lifestyles, and we brainstorm our idea, and we outline it first, and then it's literally a question of finishing each other's sentences. It is that simple. It is yellow legal pads and pencils.
KING: That close.
ANDREWS: And a lot of laughter, right?
HAMILTON: And a lot of laughter.
KING: You have said, Emma...
HAMILTON: And a lot of cups of tea.
KING: You have said that writing children's stories came to you because of the way your parents, even after they split up, read to you. Is that correct?
HAMILTON: That is correct. They both read to me. They're both passionate and voracious readers themselves. But also, more than that, Larry, they used it as a way to help me bridge the gap between them in the early days of their separation and divorce.
In actual fact, my mom and I would occasionally write stories together when I was a little girl that I would then bring to my father, who was living on the opposite coast, and he would illustrate them while I was visiting with him, and then I would bring back the whole finished book to my mom.
KING: And then he illustrated this one, right?
HAMILTON: Of course, he has illustrated this one. Tony Walton is his name.
KING: Nice to be -- are you on friendly terms with him? ANDREWS: I'd say we are. I have known Tony since I was 12, and he was 13, Larry. And I'd say he is certainly one of my greatest chums.
KING: Now, you're switching to Hyperion (ph) to Harper Collins after this one, "Dumpy and the Big Storm," and it's going to be your mother's brand. Are you involved in that, too, Emma?
ANDREWS: She is.
HAMILTON: I am, yes, I am, Larry. I'm actually going to be the editorial director, I suppose you would say, of the imprint...
KING: How will it work?
HAMILTON: ... which is called the "Julie Andrews Collection."
Well, we'll -- not only will it umbrella our own books together from here on, and we are actually -- we've just finished another book together that is not one of the "Dumpy" series as well as writing other "Dumpy" books, and we are in the process of starting a novel together as well. But we're also developing books by other authors, emerging writers for children. And so we'll be premiering in the fall with two of our own books.
ANDREWS: Fall 2003, darling.
HAMILTON: Right. Fall 2003.
KING: What was it like with a show business mom?
HAMILTON: Or, what was it like with Mary Poppins as a mom -- no, the stock answer to that is it was hard to have a dirty room, but actually the truth of the matter is, I didn't really know anything different, Larry. She was mom, and that was her job, and it was what she did, and it was wonderfully exciting...
KING: When you were a kid and you would go watch her perform, was it -- it wasn't like the other moms on the block.
HAMILTON: It wasn't, but I never knew anything different, truthfully. I mean, I think I always got a little thrill standing backstage, and listening or watching, especially if it was a song that I knew and loved. But she also -- all the members of my family made a real effort, and especially mom, to keep things as -- quote-unquote -- "normal," as possible, I think, at home. And so -- she was always there at breakfast, which was an amazing thing, given her schedule.
KING: Emma, how have you dealt with the loss of her singing voice?
HAMILTON: I try to avoid thinking about it, truthfully. It's too painful for words, and I hang on to a great deal of hope, as I think we all do, that there may yet come a day when we will see it return. I mean, we are seeing such miracles in medicine and modern science that I just hope and pray that some day that will be the case, and I am profoundly grateful that it is on record as much as it is literally, no pun intended.
KING: Did she sing lullabies to you at night?
HAMILTON: No, more sort of bawdy English campfire songs.
ANDREWS: Thank you for that, darling.
HAMILTON: More her style -- sorry, Mom. But it's true.
ANDREWS: No, no -- I'm glad.
KING: Now, you run a regional theater, one of the most successful in America, and live East, right, you prefer it there, one would gather.
HAMILTON: In the Northeast, yes, it's the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, and I love it. We are so lucky to live here, and I run the theater with my husband, Steve Hamilton, and our co-artistic director Cybil Christopher (ph). We've been here 11 years, 11 seasons.
KING: In this age of video games, Internet, and the like -- this is for both of you. Start with you, Julie -- where do children's books fit? Is this -- is that still going on a lot in America, parents reading books to their kids, and then kids reading them themselves?
ANDREWS: Well, that -- you've just said the key thing, Larry, which is that parents should and must read books to their children. I mean -- it's so essential to their skills in reading and everything else to sit them on your lap, and point out the pictures and point out the words, and just do it from the very first moment you possibly can, and music, and everything else.
KING: Is it still done a lot -- you're the younger generation, Emma, and you're in the East. Do your friends read books to their kids?
ANDREWS: I can vouch for that.
HAMILTON: Absolutely. Absolutely, Larry. We all do, and I think our kids long for it and ask for it. Largely, I think the difference is it -- they can participate when you read to them. They participate with their imaginations, whereas with television and video games and computer games, and so forth, it's just spoon fed to them and they're not asked to contribute anything. But if you're reading a story with a child, or going to the theater, even, with a child, you're asking them to use their imagination and to participate and engage in a way that you often otherwise don't. And that is so important.
KING: I salute you, Emma. I thank you very much, and wish you everything you wish yourself and Julie...
ANDREWS: Are you at the theater right now, darling?
HAMILTON: I am.
KING: Thank you again, Julie, as always.
ANDREWS: Thank you for having us.
KING: Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, the book, "Dumpy and the Big Storm." Chance and Cannon will be reading it at home.
Thank you very much for joining us both of you. NEWSNIGHT with Aaron Brown is next.
I'm Larry King. From Los Angeles and Sag Harbor, New York -- always wanted to say that, because as a kid, we couldn't even afford to go by there. Thanks for joining us and good night.
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