We know her from such classics like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, but Julie Andrews is revealing that she found herself in a dark place when she lost her singing voice more than 20 years ago.

The 84-year-old recently sat down with AARP The Magazine for their October/November 2019 issue and touched on many different things, including the serious procedure she underwent in 1997. “When I woke up from an operation to remove a cyst on my vocal cord, my singing voice was gone. I went into a depression,” the actress told the outlet. “It felt like I’d lost my identity. But by good fortune that’s when my daughter Emma and I had been asked to write books for kids. So along came a brand-new career in my mid-60s. Boy, was that a lovely surprise. But do I miss singing: Yes. I really do.”

Julie Andrews
Greg Allen/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Julie may not have the singing voice she once had, but she of course can still hold a tune. “I would have been quite a sad lady if I hadn’t had the voice to hold on to,” the Hollywood star said. “The singing was the most important thing of all, and I don’t mean to be Pollyanna about how incredibly lost I’d have been without that.

Even though the Oscar winner made a career of starring in films, there is one regret she has in her life. “Everyone thinks I come from Windsor Castle or something. But I was so busy working as a kid. The only thing I had time for was to read on trains and planes,” Julie explained. “When I didn’t go to college because I was working, I said to my mum, ‘Are you sure I’m not going to miss college?’ She said, ‘Oh, you’ll have a much better education from life.’ But I always wished I’d had a real education.”

The Home Work author also recently found herself having to talk about one of her most classic roles when Mary Poppins Returns made its way to theaters — this time with fellow actress Emily Blunt as the magical nanny. However, Julie did not want to be a part of the sequel.

Julie Andrews
Camilla Morandi/Shutterstock

“She was very hands-off with the whole thing,” Emily, 36, explained to Variety. “There was discussion that maybe she would come and do a bit in the movie, and she was so generous, actually. She said to [director Rob Marshall], ‘Do you know what this is? This is Emily’s version of her and I don’t want it to be that she’s playing Mary Poppins the whole way through, but then I come in and there’s, like ‘Oh, but there’s the real Mary Poppins.'” What a lady!