Glynis Johns, renowned for her performances in Disney’s “Mary Poppins” and on Broadway in “A Little Night Music,” has departed. The centenarian actress, who had been living in a Los Angeles assisted living facility, succumbed to natural causes. This sorrowful information was verified by her manager, Mitch Clem.
With a career in acting lasting over six decades, Johns was ingrained with a natural talent for performance, inherited from her parents. Her father, the renowned Welsh actor Mervyn Johns, gained fame for portraying Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1951 film adaptation of “A Christmas Carol.”
Meanwhile, her mother, the Australian concert pianist Alice Maude Steele-Wareham Johns, also known as Alyse Steele-Payne, gave birth to this fourth-generation entertainer while the couple was on tour in South Africa, as reported by News Sky.
While Glynis Johns became renowned for her memorable portrayal of the spirited suffragette Mrs. Banks in “Mary Poppins,” her true passion lay in the realm of stage performance. According to The New York Times, she was 49 years old when she secured the role of Desiree Armfeldt in the Broadway production of “A Little Night Music.”
In 1973, she earned a Tony Award for her rendition of the iconic song “Send in the Clowns” from the musical, a piece crafted by composer Stephen Sondheim specifically tailored to suit her voice. In her acceptance speech, she expressed how the production’s company had restored her joy in the theater.
Grateful, she also extended her thanks to Sondheim for composing music that resonated so deeply with her. Despite her affection for the role, when Hollywood adapted the musical into a film in 1977, the character ultimately went to Elizabeth Taylor.
Johns boasts a total of 91 acting credits, as indicated by IMDb. Her last role was portraying the vibrant grandmother in “Superstar,” alongside Molly Shannon and Will Ferrell. While Johns had a son named Gareth Forwood, tragically, he passed away due to a heart attack in 2007. The actress is survived by one grandson and three great-grandchildren.