Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 26 - 3 - Julie with Angela Lansbury and Steve Lawrence

Continued from previous blog…

Shortly after I sat down, the news came on the television and it was announced, “Edward G. Robinson died tonight.”

“Oh my God,” Elizabeth said in a voice that made me want to cry. Of course, Edward G. Robinson had appeared in many films with Elizabeth’s idol, Humphrey Bogart.

There was stillness in the studio, and then a sudden burst, as if all these people were part of a whole that had one part taken away. I felt the pain. I told Elizabeth how only three months earlier I had walked the red carpet at the premiere of Young Winston, standing right next to Edward G. Robinson. That night, he had looked very handsome in his blue pinstripe suit with a red carnation in his buttonhole.  That seemed years ago now.

“I can’t believe it!” Bill Harbach, listed as producer with Nick Vanoff, was on the phone talking softly.  I thought he must be talking to a friend of Edward G. Robinson’s or a member of his family. An older man at the studio came over to talk to the people in front of us. “We all have to go sometime, but gee, when someone….” He just shook his head. “It could have been anyone of us. It hurts when it’s this close.”

Now they were showing film clips from the 1930s of a young Edward G. Robinson and a beautiful woman. I couldn’t help thinking, “It’s all gone—that era.”

Then, it was announced that character actor Carroll Nash had just died and they showed him in a scene with Humphrey Bogart. The feeling in the studio was frighteningly sad. Bill Harbach jumped from his chair and said, “What a night!”

“Come on Julie,” said Elizabeth, “We need you to cheer us.”

The lady in front of us said, “I can’t stand it, I’ve got to go out. Let me know if anyone else dies.”

“Lee Jerome of CBS died tonight,” the television announcer stated. Then, he commented, “We have had enough.”

 During this time, Elizabeth went back to see Mr. and Mrs. Edwards again. I found out later she had asked to introduce her to Blake. I had never been sure who Blake Edwards was before. He was wearing all brown tonight, with a brown sweater. Then, Julie appeared in green. Elizabeth said she really liked Julie’s outfit and was trying to figure out how it was made so that she could make herself one.

Earlier, when Rich Little played Cher, Steve Lawrence played Sonny. Steve is really a good impersonator too. Now, Rich came out as Jackie Gleason and Steve played Frank Fontaine. Then, they ran around with this gorilla chasing them. It was hilarious! At one point, Rich went down on top of the gorilla.

Now, they had a new set up. It was a costume room with rows and rows of costumes. Julie, Angela, Rich and Steve were all in the scene. Julie had to begin singing and then they all march through the aisles as they sang “Heigh Diddle-Dee-Dee An Actor’s Life for Me.” It was so much fun; I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun during a taping. Then, the Tony Charmoli dancers pushed the four costume racks around with a star on each one. The only sad part was when Rich had to sing the line, “…like Humphrey Bogart or Edward G…” Of course, Elizabeth had a comment about that.


Just around this time, Julie’s daughter, Emma Kate appeared on stage in a poncho and clogs, wearing a bookpack on her back. She held out her arms for her mother, and Julie kissed her. Then, Emma held her arms out again. She had her hair in long pigtails and kept wiping her eyes as if she were crying. She looked very sad. But it was time for Julie to do another take of the scene. Emma was holding something; someone took it out of her arms and she went and sat down in her mother’s chair.

By now, it was 11:00 o’clock. I couldn’t help looking at Emma watching Julie. The scene was so much fun; I thought she would smile, but no smile. She looked very unhappy and I realized the seemingly perfect life was not just that. Julie was here in the studio and she would be here for most of the night. She had no time for Emma now.
“Emma wants her mum to go home with her,” Elizabeth commented.

Everyone in the studio was happy, but at that moment Emma was not part of this joy. She had to go home alone. At the end of the scene, she clapped, looking quite serious and then was taken back stage.

Julie came over to the producer’s area to sit in her chair and looking down saw Mr. and Mrs. Edwards in the front row. She was so surprised, she stopped in her tracks. “Oh Mum! Dad! I didn’t know you were here,” she said. “Why didn’t you….” With that, she jumped down from the stage, hugged and kissed each of them and sat down with them, “like a tomboy,” I thought. Her gold earrings were jingling as she had started a big conversation with her mother and father-in-law. Then, all of a sudden, two girls appeared with autograph books. They stood behind the Edwards, waiting.

“Oh, no,” I said, feeling embarrassed and horrified.

“She won’t pay attention to them,” said Elizabeth. “She’ll just run up on stage when they call her. Wait and see.”

I saw Julie look at the girls out of the corner of her eye, then turn back to her lively conversation with “Mum and Dad.”

“How different from the near Christmas meeting,” I thought, when Julie nearly crashed into me as she ran up the aisle to her family.

“Look at that wonderful relationship,” said Elizabeth. I was getting tired of her comments.

Now the director called, “Julie!” and she said, “OH!” as only she can, and ran up on the stage.

Earlier, Elizabeth had commented, “It’s funny, you don’t see Julie and Blake very affectionate on the set.” Now, as Julie ran up on the stage, Blake met her, took her hands and put her in a low backbend, as if to kiss her.

 “There, are you satisfied,” I said.


The next segment of shooting was hysterically funny. Steve Lawrence came out on stage and there was a gorilla standing there.

 “Hey Julie,” said Steve. “You look great in that gorilla suit.”

Just then, Julie arrived on stage and said, “That’s not me. I’m right here.”

“Rich,” said Steven. No, it wasn’t Rich, he was there on stage too.

“Angela,” said Steve.

“It’s not me,” said Angela, appearing from the other side of the stage.

“Well, if it’s not you or you or her, who is it? I think my legs are going to carry me.”

“You mean, you think it’s a real one?” asked Julie.

Steve was already beginning to run. Then, they all ran and so did the dancers. The gorilla was running up and down aisles, through the costumes and everyone ran a different way. Some of them crashed into one another. It wasn’t planned; everyone just did what they wanted. Julie climbed under some costumes and sucked her thumb. It was just too much. I was laughing so hard, I almost fell out of my seat. The tears were running down my face. The whole audience was hysterical. You had to be there to believe it. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my whole life.


After the scene was over, I went back to talk to Vivian again. She was sitting by herself now, away from Patty and Kelly. We went outside and walked around the building, talking about when Julie was a little girl and other things. She didn’t believe that Julie had us put out. While we were outside, I did a tap step and started dancing around. At that moment, one of the camera man passed by and I was so embarrassed. 

We returned to the studio via the underground passage way. Then, Vivian and I sat in the back together on the other side for a while. When Unit Manger John Monarch came by, he stopped to talk to us. He told us that the studio thought we were all one group, adding,

“That “Marsha,” the fan club president, was so cold. I tried to talk to her, but she wouldn’t smile. She showed no reaction at all…” Then, pointing at me, he said to Vivian,

“Why don’t you come to the studio with your girlfriend, so you can get in, and stay away from those other girls?”

When Vivian asked if she could move up front, he told her he couldn’t let her, nor could Don Corvan, the stage manager. “We have no say in this.”

Vivian and I sat and talked for quite a long time. She told me many things about how she had come to be able to be at the studio and more. She said that when she met Julie at the first show and asked her if she could come to all the shows, Julie had told her there was nothing she could do to help with that. Meanwhile, she said, every week Julie had sent her hairdresser, Lorraine, out to see if Vivian was there. Lorraine hadn’t seen her that night, but later in the evening, Vivian saw her sitting in the audience talking to Sharri. She had walked by and said “hello,” but Lorraine had not responded. That did not sound good.

For a while, we watched Rich Little as W.C. Fields acting with Angela Lansbury as Mae West. Angela was excellent as Mae West.
When they were getting ready to tape the last scene, I left Vivian and went down to the fourth row with Elizabeth. We had seen Julie come out dressed in a white sailor suit and a little hat.
“There she is!” said Vivian.
“Who?” I asked. That set us off into a fit of giggles, the way we’d done in happier days.

Angela Lansbury, Steve Lawrence
and Julie Andrews on the "ship"
 The last scene to be taped that night had the small portion of what looked like a ship that rocked side to side. Steve Lawrence was the captain and Angela and Julie were the shipmates. They all sang “I am the captain of the ship…” from HMS Pinafore. After they had gone over it or done one take, Julie asked the director,

“Wait! Aren’t you going to get Angela and I in the picture? We’ve got some awfully good stuff going on between us.”

I am not sure if she’d watched the take or why she thought the director was not getting them in the picture. In my diary, I noted,

“That’s what I don’t like about cameras and television. The director has to decide what to include and what is most important. The rest is cut out, sometimes some very interesting things that you see on stage are left out.”

 Earlier, Steve had been goofing off, ad-libbing lines and making Julie crack up. At one point, the executive producer, Nick Vanoff, acted very angry about it.

“Come on now, Steve. We want to finish up!”

He seemed so angry, Steve apologized. Then, Nick just laughed.

“Come on, doesn’t everyone want to go home early “in five?”

Meanwhile Julie was talking to someone and she just continued talking.

“I guess she doesn’t want to go home,” someone else said.

When they got back on the boat, they rocked it side to side, like they were on a rough sea, until finally Steve, who was supposed to be sea sick, jumped off the boat onto a mattress.

Now came the last part of the scene. Julie and Angela were going to get drenched with a huge bucket of water coming over the deck. The director gave instructions:

“Look to the left, then to right, then forward and you’ll get it.”

“This is just a rehearsal isn’t it?” asked Julie.

“Yes,” said the director.

They rehearsed it, and then rehearsed it again (possibly taping it), right up to the end when they were supposed to get drenched.

I was very surprised to capture this photo
of Angela and Julie with the hand
throwing a bucket of water on them.
It did not appear visible when watching
the "sample"dvd or maybe I just
missed it.
“Wait a minute,” said Julie, “I’m not ready.”

Finally, the director said, “Okay. This is a take” and one of the stagehands took a big bucket and threw it at the two women. Angela was drenched, but Julie said,

“My face didn’t even get wet. Shouldn’t I have got my face wet if anyone did?” I think Julie felt sorry for Angela, who was soaked, so they said they’d do it again with Julie.

The crew got very excited. “I’ve got to see this!” I heard people saying as they ran and jumped onstage to get a better view of Julie getting hit with a bucket of water.  

They did the take, and someone threw a bucket of water at Julie. The water came all over the deck, hitting her so hard she almost fell over backwards. If she hadn’t been holding on to the rail, she would have been knocked off the boat.

They checked the takes while she got dried off and seeing that everything looked good, Julie was ready to leave.

“Julie?” It was the director’s voice coming over the P.A. system.


“I just want to thank you for being so good this week. I think this was the hardest show we’ve done and you did splendidly.”

“What’s the matter,” asked Julie.”Aren’t you coming back next week?” Then she laughed and left the stage.

There weren’t too many people left in the audience at the end. Now, it was time to go and the pages were very rude.

“Come on! Leave! We’re closing. Don’t you know the way out?”

Once we got outside, I spoke some more with Vivian, then I walked home. Patty and Kelly had been all excited about something, but we ignored them. We didn’t want any part of what they were up to.

It didn’t take me long to get home, but it was twenty of two in the morning when I arrived. When I got into bed, I was so tired, the entire room seemed to whirl around.

A list of The Julie Andrews Hour blogs with links to this page can always be found on:

Note: All photos here are for entertainment purposes only

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