Top 10 Best Julie Andrews Performances
Top 10 Best Julie Andrews Performances

Top 10 Best Julie Andrews Performances

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Sammie Purcell
These Julie Andrews performances are all supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Our countdown includes "Shrek 2," "The Princess Diaries," "Victor/Victoria," and more!

Top 10 Best Julie Andrews Performances

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Julie Andrews Performances.

For this list, we’ll be looking at those times Dame Julie Andrews was the queen of the screen. We’ll only be focusing on her film and television roles, since the times she dazzled the Broadway stage could have a list all their own.

If we missed any of your favorites, let us know in the comments below!

#10: Lady Whistledown
“Bridgerton” (2020-)

No matter how she appears — or doesn’t — if there’s a best Julie Andrews performance, we will uncover it! Andrews is, of course, known for her transcendent singing, but her speaking voice is in high demand as well. She’s narrated a few things over the years, including 2007’s “Enchanted,” but in 2020, she blew us all away with her work in Netflix’s “Bridgerton.” Andrews voices the elusive Lady Whistledown, a mysterious gossip who runs her own newsletter and makes trouble for London’s elite. Her voice work is wonderful – she’s perfectly pompous, snide, cheeky and sly all in one.

#9: Lili Smith
“Darling Lili” (1970)

If you like musicals AND spy movies, this is the Julie Andrews performance for you! In this 1970 film, Andrews plays Lili Smith, a musical star who is actually a German spy during World War I. The film presents a comedy of errors, with mistaken identities, romance, and everything else you’d expect. The film was a bit of a commercial failure at the time, but watching it today Andrews’ performance simply bursts off the screen. It’s a seductive, romantic film, giving her the chance to show off chops she doesn’t necessarily get to in many of her other movies. Seriously, is there anything this woman can’t do?

#8: Cinderella
“Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella” (1957)

While there are many roles Julie Andrews is known, and beloved, for, Cinderella was effectively written as a starring vehicle for the young star – seriously, how many people can say a musical based on a literal Disney princess was written expressly with them in mind? Not many! While Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” has had many iterations since – we’re big fans of the Brandy and Whitney Houston version – watching Andrews in the role is a real treat. She’s in her early 20s, and her fresh-faced excitement shines through in the performance. This was an ENORMOUSLY popular TV event: it was watched by 107 million Americans, 60% of the country’s population back then!

#7: Queen Lillian
“Shrek 2” (2004)

This may not be the highest royal role for Dame Andrews on this list, but it’s certainly one of our favorites. Following the events of the first movie, Princess Fiona takes Shrek and Donkey to meet her parents – the king and queen. Her father is voiced by the legend John Cleese, while her mother – Queen Lillian – is voiced by none other than J.A. The king and queen are quite surprised to see that their daughter is in love with an ogre, but Andrews is able to infuse her character with warmth and elegance – the perfect offset to Cleese’s more disgusted king.

#6: Queen Clarisse Renaldi
“The Princess Diaries” franchise (2001-04)

Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse? Shut up. Shut up! “The Princess Diaries” books and movies are so important to a generation of young readers, and Andrews’ role as Queen Clarisse of Genovia is one of her best. As the elegant queen, she’s able to bring her signature grace and sophistication to the role, as she teaches Anne Hathaway’s Mia how to be a royal. But, in playing off Hathaway and bringing to life that age-old clash of young and old, Julie’s able to let loose a bit and give us some of that “fun grandma” energy we always knew she had in her. Plus, getting to hear Julie Andrews sing again in “The Royal Engagement” would have been enough to make this role one of our all-time favorites.

#5: Millie Dillmount
“Thoroughly Modern Millie” (1967)

Not only does she have a stunning voice, but she can dance, folks! “Thoroughly Modern Millie” follows the naive Millie Dillmount as she first arrives in the big city, hoping to find a wealthy husband for herself. Andrews stars as Millie, and is easily able to bring sunshine and wide-eyed innocence to the role. “Millie” also serves as the perfect vehicle to show off Andrews' stellar dancing skills. Alongside Mary Tyler Moore as Miss Dorothy Brown, she taps and prances her way to musical movie notoriety. Our fave would have to be the elevator tap scene, but there are certainly plenty to choose from.

#4: Emily Barham
“The Americanization of Emily” (1964)

This movie was a bit of a departure from the norm for Julie Andrews – you might not expect the woman who popularized songs like “Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” to star in a black-and-white dark comedy or romantic drama – but Andrews proved to be more than up to the task. Andrews plays Emily, an Englishwoman who lost her father, brother and husband in World War II, who falls in love with an American naval officer, perhaps against her better judgement. Andrews handles the crackling dialogue and heavy themes with ease, proving to everyone that she truly can do it all.

#3: Victoria Grant/Count Victor Grazinski
“Victor/Victoria” (1982)

Definitely one of Andrews’ most interesting roles to date, “Victor/Victoria” follows the story of a young, down-on-her-luck singer who finds success by masquerading as a man who masquerades as a woman for his act – bear with us, we know it’s all a bit confusing. The premise itself calls for a bit of comedy, as different characters know different levels of Victoria’s identity, but the movie is also filled with a lot of warmth and heart, and helmed by Andrews in an excellent, nuanced leading performance. And of course, that iconic image of her in that fitted suit will live on forever.

#2: Mary Poppins
“Mary Poppins” (1964)

We all know that Mary Poppins is iconic in the best possible way – we don’t have to tell you that. But not only did this classic, beloved film give us one of Julie Andrews most enduring roles, it gave us one of the best Golden Globes acceptance speeches of all time. Jack Warner, president of Warner Brothers, had decided not to cast Andrews in the “My Fair Lady” movie – even though she originated the role on Broadway – and cast Audrey Hepburn instead. We can’t feel too bad for Julie Andrews though; things seemed to have worked out just fine for her. She went on to win the Oscar, too. Thanks again, Jack!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Gertrude Lawrence, “Star!” (1968)
The Movie Title Says It All – She’s a Star!

Marlena Gru, “Despicable Me” (2010)
Add Supervillain Mom to the Resume

Samantha Taylor, “10” (1979)
Don’t You Dare Call Julie a “Broad”

Sally Miles, “S.O.B.” (1981)
Julie Gets Saucy!

#1: Maria
“The Sound of Music” (1965)

It’s hard to think about Julie Andrews and not immediately think of those first moments in “The Sound of Music” where she runs through the hills, singing at the top of her lungs and lighting up our screens with effusive joy. Filled with wondrous songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, “The Sound of Music” is without a doubt Andrews’ most memorable film to date. In the role of Maria, Andrews is mesmerizing – she lights up the screen, shows off her amazing singing chops, and her chemistry with Captain von Trapp, played by the late, great Christopher Plummer, is palpable. The hills are alive, indeed.