Mary Poppins actress Glynis Johns dies aged 100

January 5, 2024 4:51 pm

[Source: BBC]

Glynis Johns, known best for her role as suffragette mother Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins, has died at the age of 100.

The British actress, whose career spanned more than 60 years, died in Los Angeles on Thursday, her manager confirmed.

She appeared in dozens of films and was also an accomplished theatre performer.

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Her manager Mitch Clem said in a statement her death was a “sombre day for Hollywood”.

Johns starred opposite Dame Julie Andrews in the classic 1964 Disney musical Mary Poppins, which went on to win five Oscars.

Her manager of 25 years Mr Clem said her “light shined very brightly for 100 years”.

“Glynis powered her way through life with intelligence, wit, and a love for performance, affecting millions of lives,” he said paying tribute.

[Source: BBC]

“Today is a sombre day for Hollywood. Not only do we mourn the passing of our dear Glynis, but we mourn the end of the golden age of Hollywood.”

She also won a Tony Award in 1973 for playing Desiree Armfeldt in Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical A Little Night Music, in which she sang Send In The Clowns.

Sondheim wrote the song especially for Johns to sing, however she lost the part to Elizabeth Taylor in the 1977 film version.

“I always said that Send In The Clowns was the best gift I was ever given,” she told AP news agency.

In an interview with ABC News in October on her 100th birthday, Johns added: “I got applause for that. I loved doing it. I felt it.”

Part of a showbusiness family, Johns was born on 5 October 1923 in South Africa while her Welsh actor parents were performing there.

Her first big screen role was in 1948 as the mermaid Miranda, with her performance in the comedy making her a star in the UK.

She was later nominated for an Academy Awards for best supporting actress for her role in 1960 film The Sundowners.

She also made frequent TV appearances, including in Batman, and starred in her own sitcom Glynis on US television in 1963.

Her last acting roles were in the 1995 film While You Were Sleeping, featuring Sandra Bullock, and the 1999 film Superstar starring Molly Shannon and Will Ferrell.

She retired to the US, and spent her final years in an assisted living home in Hollywood where she died peacefully, her manager told BBC News.

Ahead of her 100th birthday in October, Labour MP Chris Bryant had called for Johns to be made a dame.

He tweeted on Thursday: “So sad. One of the great British actors who should have been given a damehood.”

The actress is survived by her grandson Thomas Forwood, who is based in Paris, and her three great-grandchildren.

She will be buried next to her father, actor Mervyn Johns, in the UK.