When Julie Andrews met Dick van Dyke

If you think of classic musicals that bring the whole family together, especially at Christmas, Mary Poppins is high on the list of firm favourites.

The charming 1964 film centres on the eponymous nanny bringing magic, wonder and music to the lives of two London children, with enchanting results.

Of course, Julie Andrews played Mary herself, while Dick Van Dyke took the role of Cockney chimney sweep, Bert.

So, how did these two iconic actors meet and are they still in touch today? We explore this fascinating friendship.

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Perfect partners

When they were cast in Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews were at the very beginning of their flourishing careers. Dick had already starred in Bye Bye Birdie, and Julie Andrews had been performing on Broadway and beyond since she was eighteen. Both brought serious musical talent and enthusiasm to the set of Mary Poppins – and from the moment they met in rehearsals, the pair hit it off.

A jolly holiday

While we may smile remembering Dick Van Dyke’s famously questionable Cockney accent as Bert, Julie Andrews was swept up in his inventiveness and enthusiasm. The two had instant chemistry, which is plain to see, as Bert brings out the cheekiness and magic in Mary with his down-to-earth attitude.

The same was true behind the scenes, as Andrews was inspired by Van Dyke’s “sunny mood” throughout rehearsal and shooting. A recently resurfaced outtake showing the pair lip-syncing each other’s lines shows their light-heartedness and mutual affection.

Sustaining friendship

After Mary Poppins wrapped, the actors may have gone their separate ways – but their mutual respect and friendship didn’t vanish with the final “cut!” Andrews and Van Dyke have continued to stay in touch in the nearly sixty years since meeting. In fact, Van Dyke loved working with Andrews so much that he lobbied for her to star in his next big musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Alas, it was not to be – and yet their friendship continued.

Going strong

In 2013, these two amazing actors reunited with one another to attend the premiere of the movie Mr. Banks and have since been spotted smiling together at other red-carpet events.

While their careers may have gone in different directions, they have both enjoyed phenomenal success. As icons of the silver screen, Julie Andrews turns 87 this year, while Dick Van Dyke is 97 years young! These two legends are still friends and celebrate their achievements and talents in both interviews and in print, with the duo speaking very fondly of one another in their memoirs.

When Julie Andrews met Dick Van Dyke, beautiful music was made, and a lifelong friendship was born.

If you want to make great connections in the same city where Mary Poppins was set, then &Meetings can help. We have a range of strategically located, fully-equipped event spaces and meeting rooms across the City, so you can carry out those important gatherings in the perfect setting. Get in touch to find out more.

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