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Celebrities Speak at the LA Times Festival of Books

Actors and authors Julie Andrews, Florence Henderson and Betty White talked about their books and careers at the Festival of Books.

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday to see a number of celebrities on the campus of University of Southern California for the LA Times Festival of Books.

Julie Andrews, Betty White, Florence Henderson and several actors from The Sound of Music received cheers and standing ovations. The actors-turned-authors spoke on the books they had written and the inspiration behind them.

Julie Andrews, the beloved actress best known for her roles as Mary Poppins and Maria in The Sound of Music, appeared on the Target Children's stage to read her new book that she co-authored with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl follows a young girl Gerry as she prepares to be the flower girl at her Aunt Susan's wedding.

This week marks the start of National Princess Week at Target where you can purchase all things princess including Andrews' new book.

Andrews also addressed the audience about her film career. 

Andrews said that out of all the films she has made, the Sound of Music was her favorite. Andrews also commented on her most memorable moments of filming The Sound of Music including her struggles with the opening scene.

Four of the actors who played the von Trapp children spoke about their new book The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook: Memories from the Film from the “von Trapp Kids."The authors present were Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich, Heather Menzies, who played Louisa, Duane Chase, who played Kurt, and Kym Karath, who played Gretel.

The actors said that they received repeated questions about their experience making the film, so they decided to put it all together in a book. Highlights from their work include Karath's experience during the boat scene, Chase's photograph with Christopher Plummer, as well as the audition and schooling experience for all the child actors. 

Betty White, best known for her role as Sue Ann Nivens on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Blanche in the Golden Girls, and currently as Elka Ostrovsky in Hot in Cleveland, discussed her new book, Betty and Friends: My Life at the Zoo.

White's book focuses on the benefits a zoo can provide to young people.  She believes that zoos promote education and the preservation of species. She also talked about some of her animal friends she has made over the years including Coco, a singing gorilla.

Actress Florence Henderson also talked about her new book: Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond. The book provides a detailed account of Henderson's life, from her difficult childhood to her experience on The Today Show and as Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch.

She said she was nervous about the reaction she would get from the book, but was hopeful of the positive impact the book would have.

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