In the beginning, there are three main stepping stones that I remember very clearly. One was when I was 12 and made what I would call my official debut. I sang one song in a musical revue in London. At almost the last minute, I was nearly dismissed because they felt that in such a sophisticated setting, this little girl with a freak voice was much too innocent. My parents and an agent or two descended on the poor producers. They said, “You’ve got to give this girl a break, and she’ll sing something more difficult.” And that night, I did in fact stop the show, and the audience wouldn’t stop applauding. That was the beginning of some recognition of this sort of child prodigy that I was for several years.
The next thing was going on to Broadway (starring in “The Boy Friend,” in 1954, at 18). I had toured around England endlessly throughout my teens, but when I came to the U.S. to perform on Broadway, that was a huge step.
Then, obviously, going to Hollywood after a long period on Broadway.
I think the things that happened were mostly beyond my wildest dreams. Who could have imagined that life would have taken such marvelous twists and turns or that I would often be so fortunate to be in the right place at the right time? Performing is always a learning process, even today.
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