Julie Andrews Opens Up About How Therapy 'Saved' Her Life After First Divorce

Julie Andrews
Stefania D'Alessandro/WireImage

The actress also opened up about her marriage to Blake Edwards while promoting her new memoir, 'Home Work.'

For Julie Andrews, going to therapy was a life-changing decision.

The Oscar-winning actress -- best known for her starring roles in such iconic classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Victor Victoria and The Princess Diaries -- recently sat down with Stephen Colbert on Monday's The Late Show, and opened up about how one famous director guided her during a dark time in her life.

Andrews explained how director Mike Nichols inspired her to seek professional help from a therapist after her painful split from her first husband, costume designer Tony Walton, in 1967.

"Sadly, I separated from my lovely first husband," Andrews recalled of the tumultuous time in her life. "The marriage was over and my head was so full of clutter and garbage. Believe it or not, it was Mike Nichols who really tipped me into wanting to go to therapy."

Andrews recalled that the beloved filmmaker -- who died of a heart attack in November 2014 --  was "so sane, and funny and clear," and that he "had a clarity that I admired so much."

"I wanted that for myself," Andrews shared. "I didn't feel I had it, so I went and got into [therapy] and it saved my life, in a way."

Andrews touches upon the topic of embracing therapy and her experiences with mental health in her new memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, and regarding the question of why she decided to open up about that aspect of her life, the actress' answer was simple: "Why not?"

Andrews said it's a valuable lesson to share, especially "if it helps anybody else have the same idea."

"These days, there's no harm in sharing it. I think everybody knows the great work it can do," she added. "[For] anybody that is lucky enough to have it, afford it and take advantage of it, I think it would be wonderful."

Andrews also recently opened up about her second husband, director Blake Edwards, to whom she was married from 1969 until his death in 2010.

While speaking with Radio Times magazine in the U.K., Andrews addressed the #MeToo movement, and said it is "an important development and it should be recognized." However, the actress stated that she, herself, was never knowingly the victim of harassment, largely due to her husband.

"I was very fortunate I didn’t have any harassment in the business because, happily, I was married to Blake, who was highly respected and I don’t think people thought to bother with me," she said of her late husband. "I started working with him fairly early on, so I didn’t have any of that to deal with."

Andrews added that, despite her own shielding from harassment in her early years, "I’m all for equal pay and respect for women, all the things the #MeToo movement stands for."

"I think it will eventually shake into newer respect for all the right things," Andrews added.

On Monday, Andrews sat down with ET's Rachel Smith and the acclaimed star opened up about the process of sharing such raw honesty in her new memoir. 

"Some of the writing was a little painful and disturbing for me," she admitted. "But I'm not sure it's worth writing if you don't at least make it as honest as you can."

Andrews also wrote her memoir alongside her daughter from her first marriage, Emma Walton Hamilton, and the proud mom had nothing but love for the experience of working with her daughter on the emotional time.

"She's a far better writer than I am and I mean it!... She is such a joy to work with," Andrews raved. "And there was no holding back between us."

Andrews' new book, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, is available everywhere now.