Arts and Entertainment
Glynis Johns, Mrs Banks of Walt Disney classic ‘Mary Poppins’, passes on at 100
LOS ANGELES — English actress Glynis Johns, who played the daffy suffragette mother Mrs. Banks in the classic film ‘Mary Poppins’, passed away on Thursday at an assisted living home in Los Angeles, her manager Mitch Clem confirmed. She was 100.
Clem said in a statement, “Glynis powered her way through life with intelligence, wit, and a love for performance, affecting millions of lives,” reports ‘Variety’.
“She entered my life early in my career and set a very high bar on how to navigate this industry with grace, class, and truth. Your own truth. Her light shone very brightly for 100 years.
“She had a wit that could stop you in your tracks powered by a heart that loved deeply and purely. 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,” the statement said.
As per ‘Variety’, Johns won a Tony for her role as Desiree Armfeldt in the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘A Little Night Music’, introducing the song ‘Send in the Clowns’, written for her by Sondheim.
In addition, she was Oscar-nominated for her supporting role in 1960s ‘The Sundowners’. She was known for a delightfully husky, breathy voice, a buoyant persona and, when she was young, a charming flirtatiousness. Johns had been an actor in England for more than 20 years when she was cast in Disney’s adaptation of P.L. Travers’ ‘Mary Poppins’ novels.
The trouble was that Johns thought she had been cast as Mary Poppins. To help the medicine go down when he told her the news that she had, in fact, been cast as Mrs. Banks, Walt Disney ordered his legendary musical team, the Sherman Brothers, to write a big number for the character. They made Mrs. Banks a suffragette, which explained why she was away from the house and a nanny was needed, and Johns performed ‘Sister Suffragette’ in the final film.
Johns had a long career in English films, but more recently she had appeared in American movies including 1994’s ‘The Ref’ starring Denis Leary, in which she played the mother of Kevin Spacey’s character.
Also read: Ariana Grande announces new album for 2024