Glynis Johns, renowned for her iconic role as suffragette mother Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins, passed away at the age of 100 in Los Angeles. Her six-decade career, spanning film and stage, left an indelible mark on Hollywood.
Johns starred alongside Julie Andrews in the 1964 Disney musical Mary Poppins, a film that clinched five Oscars. Her manager, Mitch Clem, described her as a force of intelligence, wit, and love for performance, reflecting on Hollywood’s somber day with her passing.
Apart from her cinematic achievements, Johns won a Tony Award in 1973 for her role in Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical A Little Night Music, where she sang the unforgettable “Send in the Clowns.” Despite losing the film adaptation part to Elizabeth Taylor, she cherished the song as the best gift she ever received.
Born in South Africa in 1923, Johns began her career at 13 in the film South Riding. Her versatility led to a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in 1961 for The Sundowners. Notably, she originated roles in six Broadway productions, showcasing her theatrical prowess.
In the 1964 Mary Poppins, Johns initially believed she was cast as the titular character, leading to the creation of “Sister Suffragette” for her role as Mrs. Banks. Her impact extended to TV, with appearances in Batman and her own sitcom Glynis in 1963.
Despite her impressive career, Johns’ achievements were not honored with a damehood, a sentiment echoed by Labour MP Chris Bryant. The actress, surviving her son Gareth Forwood, is set to be buried next to her father, actor Mervyn Johns, in the UK.
Glynis Johns, who turned 100 in October 2023, remained timeless in her contributions to the arts. As Hollywood mourns her loss, her legacy endures as a testament to the golden age of cinema.