LOS ANGELES - The Screen Actors Guild will give Dame Julie Andrews, star of The Sound of Music, its Life Achievement Award when it hands out its annual acting honours next January 28.

Andrews, who will turn 71 on October 1, has enjoyed a long and successful career on stage and television and in films that include such hits as Mary Poppins, for which she won the 1964 Oscar for best actress.

Born in England, Andrews got her start on the British stage and became a major Broadway star in the 1950s and 1960s.

She conquered Hollywood as the lovable nanny Mary Poppins and followed with 1965's smash hit The Sound of Music.

Andrews has been nominated for three Oscars for Poppins, Sound of Music and as a cross-dressing singer in Victor/Victoria, which was directed by her husband, Blake Edwards.

She has appeared in numerous TV specials and other programmes, and recently starred in The Princess Diaries and was the voice of the Queen in Shrek 2.

In 1997, Andrews underwent an operation to remove a polyp from her vocal chords. The surgery left her singing voice damaged, and she sued the doctors for malpractice.

- REUTERS