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Scene from the play, My Fair Lady with Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle.
Scene from the stage version of My Fair Lady with Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle, 1956.Leonard McCombe—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
Scene from the play, My Fair Lady with Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle.
Scenes from the play, My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison, and Julie Andrews.
Scenes from the play, My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison, and Julie Andrews.
Julie Andrews taking a sip from the glass slipper during the TV production of "Cinderella".
Julie Andrews and Jon Cypher rehearsing music for the TV production of "Cinderella".
Actor Rex Harrison and Actress Julie Andrews during a TV interview.
Julie Andrews at a TV interview after opening of "My Fair Lady."
Jack Benny Party for Julie Andrews.
Jack Benny Party for Julie Andrews.
Julie Andrews in re-enactment of typical rehearsal of `My Fair Lady' musical, being filmed for spot on TV show `Fabulous Fifties'.
Julie Andrews in re-enactment of typical rehearsal of `My Fair Lady' musical, being filmed for spot on TV show `Fabulous Fifties'.
Julie Andrews, rehearsing for TV show "Broadway of Lerner and Loewe."
Julie Andrews, rehearsing for TV show "Broadway of Lerner and Loewe."
Julie Andrews, rehearsing for TV show "Broadway of Lerner and Loewe."
Singer Harry Belafonte with Julie Andrews at party following Broadway premiere of 'Sound of Music'.
Composer Richard Rodgers with star Julie Andrews at Broadway premiere of `The Sound of Music.'
Actress Julie Andrews at premier of film 'Sound of Music'.
Julie Andrews with producer Robert Evans, VP of Paramount, talking in studio.
Scene from the stage version of My Fair Lady with Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle, 1956.
Leonard McCombe—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
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See Julie Andrews' Early Career in Photos

Oct 01, 2015

Few voices are as enduring as the smooth, bright soprano that told us how to get our medicine down and why the hills are alive. Julie Andrews, who turns 80 on Thursday, may be American theater and cinema’s most beloved British import of the 20th century, as fondly remembered for her sternly magical Mary Poppins as she is for her hill-frolicking Maria in The Sound of Music. Her frequent roles on stage and screen during the heyday of LIFE Magazine made her a regular subject in its pages. The best of those images are featured in this gallery.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

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