Julie Andrews gets lifetime achievement award in Venice

Julie Andrews, the star of classic films like "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music", was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 76th Venice Film Festival on Monday.

"I consider myself so blessed to have spent a large part of my professional life in the cinema arts," said the 83-year-old actress as she lifted and kissed the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

"I still marvel at the fact that I was the lucky girl who was asked to play those wonderful roles," she added.

Andrews started her career as a child actress on the London West End before heading to Broadway.

Her big break was in the Walt Disney film "Mary Poppins", which turned her into an international star and earned her an Academy Award. 

Her film career also included such hits as "The Sound of Music" and "Victor Victoria," which saw her nominated for two more Oscars, as well as "Duet for One" and "The Princess Diaries".

She also lent her voice to animated hits like "Enchanted," "Despicable Me," and the "Shrek" movies. 

"She accepted roles that were diverse, dramatic, provocative and imbued with scathing irony," said Venice Festival director Alberto Barbera. "This Golden Lion is a well-deserved recognition of an extraordinary career, which has admirably parsed popular success with artistic ambition, without ever bowing to facile compromises."

(With input from Reuters, Xinhua)