Gay icon Julie Andrews reveals how she was caught kissing Carol Burnett by the First Lady in the 1960s

Julie Andrews

Gay icon Julie Andrews has revealed that she was once caught kissing legendary US comic Carol Burnett in front of the First Lady at a party in the 1960s.

The Sound of Music star, 85, recalled the story on Thursday’s episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, explaining that it happened at a benefit event that happened to be held in the same hotel as Lyndon B Johnson’s presidential inauguration.

As Andrews and Burnett waited for their friend Mike Nichols to arrive they decided to “do something silly” as a prank.

“The hotel was pretty packed, but at that hour it was quite quiet,” she told Kelly Clarkson. “We decided to sit on a sofa in front of the elevators and wait for Mike. I swear I don’t remember which one of us decided that we would do something silly when Mike got out of the elevator. So one of us said, ‘Well, let’s be kissing or something.'”

The two stars shared a playfully “big embrace” in front of the elevator, but when the doors opened, they saw it was “simply packed with Secret Service men”. After that each “ping” from the elevator delivered a new group of hotel guests, but still no Mike.

“Eventually, a lady got out — Carol swears it was Lady Bird Johnson — the lady went down the hall and realised it might be us, and she came back,” said Andrews.

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“By this time Carol was laughing so hard that she went around the back of the sofa we were sitting on because we both had tears running down our faces at being so silly.”

When the woman doubled back and approached the women they realised it was indeed the new First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. She asked: “Excuse me, are you Carol Burnett?”

Burnett hilariously replied: “Yes, and this is my friend Mary Poppins.”

Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett continued to enjoy a close friendship all their lives and performed alongside each other on several occasions. Between 1962 and 1989, they collaborated on three variety specials, including one where they threw cake at each other.