Veteran Hollywood actress Julie Andrews says having children and being married to late filmmaker Blake Edwards protected her from the casting couch early in her career.

"I was certainly aware of tales about the casting couch," theguardian.com quoted Andrews as saying. "But I was so busy working and raising my kids and being married to Blake Edwards eventually, it was an extremely busy life, and to a certain extent that put a protective fence around me, I think," she added.

A big break in 1964

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews Wikimedia Commons

It was in 1964 when she got her big break in Hollywood with the role of Mary Poppins. Andrews got married to Edwards in 1969. In the 1970s, the couple adopted two daughters -- Amy in 1974 and Joanna in 1975.

Andrews was born as Julia Wells in Surrey in 1935. Her father was a "gentle and adoring" man Ted Wells and mother Barbara Morris was erratic. When she was young, her parents split up. Andrews went on to live with her mother and step-father Ted Andrews -- who was not only an alcoholic but also tried to get into Andrews' bed two times, as mentioned in the piece.

Movies led to concern for kids

Asked if her desire to adopt children stemmed from her turbulent childhood, Andrews said: "I think it had more to do with -- well, you know, I was just a working girl in my teens, travelling around England, singing my heart out, learning my craft. But once I got to Broadway and Hollywood, the films drew me into that particular work, and I found that it was what I wanted to embrace, because it was giving me so much pleasure."

"Those movies led me into this concern for kids, and I think probably subliminally I was trying to give them as good a feeling as I could. I have no idea if that comes from my own childhood. It was just the way I stumbled forward in the world. Does that make sense? I hope it does," added the actress, who was referring to iconic films "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound Of Music".