21 British Actresses That Crossed the Pond To Hollywood

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The rise of the British beauty seeking fame across the pond began way back in the day as the British shores just can’t compete with the bright lights of the big city.

Here is a rundown of 21 British actresses who took their career to dizzying new heights by going stateside.

1. Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews was a very successful performer both on stage and on screen, and on both sides of the Atlantic. Her first successful American movie, Mary Poppins, planted her feet firmly in Hollywood as she has enjoyed massive movie stardom ever since.

Her early career in Britain was linked mostly to singing. She had her first big break singing the aria Je suis Titania at the London Hippodrome in 1947. By 1948, she was already the youngest performer to ever have a solo career at the London Palladium. Naturally, the next step was radio and then television, since her parents had both done the same. She made some appearances on BBC comedy shows before taking off for Hollywood.

However, first she would make a stop in New York to conquer Broadway. She made her Broadway debut at the age of 19 and was immediately receiving praise from critics as the standout performer in every musical that she was involved in early on.

And then came Mary Poppins and stardom. Walt Disney had seen her perform Camelot on Broadway and was very impressed. He believed that Andrews was the perfect person for the role of Poppins. Initially, Andrews did not want to do it because she was pregnant. But Disney did not want anyone else and said that they would wait for her to do the movie.

After Mary Poppins, she literally had to fight off offers with a stick. Of course, then came The Sound of Music which might have been an even bigger hit. Andrews was at that time one of the biggest stars in America and was staring in a lot of the biggest grossing movies of the 1960s, including hits like Hawaii and Torn Curtain. 

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