In Memoriam: Glynis Johns, Tony-Winning Star and Mrs. Banks in ‘Mary Poppins,’ Passes Away at 100

Glynis Johns, the Tony-winning actress renowned for her portrayal of Mrs. Banks in the timeless film “Mary Poppins,” has passed away at the age of 100.

A versatile and husky-voiced star, Johns spanned an impressive eight-decade career, making her one of the last surviving actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Having recently celebrated her centenary, Johns peacefully passed away at an assisted living home in Los Angeles, reportedly due to natural causes.

Expressing his sorrow, her manager Mitch Clem conveyed, “My heart is heavy today with the passing of my beloved client Glynis Johns. Glynis powered her way through life with intelligence, wit, and a love for performance, affecting millions of lives.”

Born on October 5, 1923, in Pretoria, South Africa, Johns was the daughter of Welsh actor Mervyn Johns. Raised in England, she began her performing career at a young age, achieving early success as a ballet prodigy.

Having made her big-screen debut in 1938, Johns found success in both British and American films, including notable works like “49th Parallel,” “The Sword and the Rose,” “The Court Jester,” and “The Sundowners,” earning her an Oscar nomination.

Her most iconic film role came in the 1964 Disney classic “Mary Poppins,” where she portrayed the Banks children’s suffragette mother, singing the memorable tune “Sister Suffragette.” The film was an Oscar-winning hit, and Johns received a Laurel Award for her performance.

In the realm of theater, Johns’ standout role was in the original cast of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “A Little Night Music,” where she played Desiree Armfeldt. This earned her a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and she originated the famous Broadway showtune “Send in the Clowns.”

A perfectionist known for her serious approach to her craft, Johns maintained her commitment to acting into the 1990s, appearing in sitcoms like “Cheers” and films such as “The Ref,” “While You Were Sleeping,” and “Superstar,” which marked her final screen role.

In recent years, Johns became known for her remarkable longevity, becoming Britain’s oldest living stage and screen star after Olivia De Havilland’s death in 2020. Although her family campaigned for her to receive a Damehood in recognition of her illustrious career, it didn’t come to fruition. Nevertheless, she will be remembered as a multi-talented icon and one of the last remnants of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Rest in peace to the late great Glynis Johns, whose enduring career left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment.