Diva/Mensch pair for March 29, 2023
The Best Picture winner for 1964 (and winner of many other awards that year) was *My Fair Lady.* Julie Andrews had created the role of Eliza on the Broadway stage and all of those clueless people in the theatre community assumed that she'd play the part when it was made into a movie. But no, Jack Warner, who was producing the movie, said that Andrews had never done a movie and he was giving the part to a bona fine movie star, Audrey Hepburn. With Marni Nixon doing her singing.
*My Fair Lady* went into production and across town Andrews was making her first movie - - Disney's *Mary Poppins.* She was amazing in that, the toast of the town, and won both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Actress.
Then, as now, the Golden Globe Awards are a few weeks before the Oscars. Andrews showed major cheeky diva attitude in her Golden Globes acceptance speech - - she thanked Jack Warner because, presumably, she wouldn't have done *Mary Poppins* if he had cast her in *My Fair Lady.* She got that out of her system and at the Oscars she was all graciousness and good manners.
On a side note, Jack Warner initially offered the role of Henry Higgins to Cary Grant. He would have been pretty great, right? But Grant rightly thought that the role needed to go to Rex Harrison, who had created the role (and ended up winning the Oscar). In Grant's words, "I told Jack, ‘Not only will I not do it, but if you don’t use Rex, I even won’t go to see it.'"
Diva: Julie Andrews, Golden Globe speech
Mensch: Julie Andrews, Oscar speech