Glynis Johns, Mary Poppins’ Winifred Banks, dies at 100

Iconic Disney Legend Glynis Johns, celebrated for her unforgettable role as Winifred Banks in the timeless Mary Poppins, peacefully passed away at the age of 100 on Thursday, January 4, in Los Angeles, as confirmed by her manager.

Mary Poppins’ Winifred Banks
Mary Poppins’ Winifred Banks (Glynis Johns)

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Known for her spirited portrayal of Winifred Banks, personally selected by Walt Disney, Johns made an indelible mark in the Academy Award®-winning Mary Poppins (1964), praised by film critic Leonard Maltin for lighting up the screen and delivering an enjoyable suffragette song.

Inducted into the prestigious Disney Legends in 1998, Johns, born in Pretoria, South Africa, on October 5, 1923, to Welsh parents, showcased her talent from a young age, earning a dance teaching degree at 10. Debuting at 13 in South Riding (1938), she became the youngest lead in Peter Pan at 19.

Winifred Banks
Publicity portrait of British actor Glynis Johns (as ‘Judy’) in the film ‘Frieda’, 1947, United States. (Photo by General Film Distributors/De Carvalho Collection/Getty Images)

Her association with The Walt Disney Studios began in the 1950s with films like The Sword and the Rose (1953) and Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue (1953). However, her return to Disney in 1964 with Mary Poppins solidified her as a Disney Legend, as the musical earned 13 Academy Award® nominations and five Oscars®.

Beyond Disney, Johns shone in TV shows like General Electric Theatre, The Cavanaughs, and her series, Glynis. Noteworthy appearances in Batman, Cheers, and Murder She Wrote added to her television repertoire alongside fellow Disney Legend Angela Lansbury.

Honored with an Academy Award nomination in 1960 for The Sundowners, Johns continued to excel, winning a Tony Award® in 1973 for A Little Night Music. Stephen Sondheim, impressed by her rendition of “Send in the Clowns,” labeled it his favorite.

Mary Poppins’ Winifred Banks (Glynis Johns)
Mary Poppins’ Winifred Banks (Glynis Johns)

With a legacy spanning over two dozen theatrical productions and 50 feature films, including The Ref (1994) and While You Were Sleeping (1995), Glynis Johns left an indelible mark on the entertainment world. Her contributions endure in documentaries like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of ‘Mary Poppins’ (2004) and Six by Sondheim (2013).

Image source: Google

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