Veteran performer Glynis Johns, best known for her role as the mother of Jane and Michael in Mary Poppins, has died aged 100.
South-African born Ms. Johns, who turned 100 in October and became the oldest living Disney Legend, passed away in a Beverly Hills retirement home.
“Glynis powered her way through life with intelligence, wit, and a love for performance, affecting millions of lives,” manager Mitch Clem said in a statement. “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 shined 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 somber 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.”
She appeared in more than 60 films and 30 plays, is the recipient of awards and nominations including the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Laurel Awards, the Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Awards and the Laurence Olivier Awards.
She appeared alongside everyone from Roger Moore to Sandra Bullock, and later in TV shows including Batman, Cheers and Murder She Wrote.
She also appeared alongside James Stewart, David Niven, Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, David Niven, Danny Kaye, Lana Turner, Jack Hawkins, Richard Todd, Richard Attenborough, Alec Guinness and Diana Dors.
Her screen credits include No Highway in the Sky, The Weak and the Wicked, Mad About Men, The Court Jester, The Sundowners (filmed in Australia in 1960), The Cabinet of Caligari, The Chapman Report and Under Milk Wood. Renowned for the breathy quality of her husky voice, Johns sang songs written specifically for her both on screen and stage, including “Send In the Clowns”, composed by Stephen Sondheim for Broadway’s A Little Night Music, in which she originated the role of Desiree Armfeldt.
Johns’ family recently called on the UK government to give her a Damehood.
Her closest living relative, grandson Thomas Forwood, said, “Glynis enjoyed a fabulous career over many decades during which she showed her immense talent and versatility in a range of parts on screen and stage.
“Almost everyone will have seen her work and be familiar with her face and voice – she’s in so many pieces that people hold dear.”
Johns’ final screen appearance came in Molly Shannon’s Superstar (1999), in which she played Grandma.