Disney’s Oldest Living Legend Dead at 100

Glynis Johns Mary Poppins dead
Credit: Disney

Though we adore men individually, we all agree that as a group they’re rather stupid. 

That memorable line was sung by Glynis Johns in Disney’s iconic 1964 film, Mary Poppins. In the film, Ms. Johns played Mrs. Winifred Banks, the loveable and feisty wife of the uptight banker, George Banks, and mother to Jane and Michael Banks. Throughout the film, Mrs. Banks goes along with what her husband says, but is always fighting for women to have more rights, especially when it comes to voting.

Glynis Johns Mary Poppins

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Legend Deceased at 21 – The Story You Don’t Know

Sadly, we have just learned that Ms. Johns has passed away at the age of 100. According to her manager, Johns died of natural causes at the assisted living facility she was at in North Hollywood, California.

Mary Poppins was not the only time that Johns worked with Disney. She also starred as Mary Tudor in the 1953 Disney film, The Sword and the Rose. That same year, she appeared as Helen Mary MacPherson MacGregor in Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue. 

Mary Poppins

Credit: Disney

Related: ‘Mary Poppins Star Dick Van Dyke Helps Those Looking For Work, Showing He Really Is a Spoonful of Sugar

Glynis Johns was the first Disney Legend to reach the age of 100, and is still the only Disney Legend to do so. The second — and with Johns’ passing — the oldest living Disney Legend is Johns’ Mary Poppins co-star, Dick Van Dyke. Van Dyke turned 98 years old on December 13. In Mary Poppins, Van Dyke starred as Bert the chimney sweep.

dick van dyke as burt in mary poppins.

Credit: Disney

Glynis Margaret Payne Johns was born in Pretoria, South Africa on October 5, 1923. Johns was born into a very theatrical family — her mother was a renowned violinist and her father was a well-respected actor.

In addition to being a very talented actress, Johns was also an incredible dancer. Before she was even eleven years old, Ms. Johns had amassed dozens of gold medals from dance competitions. She even had a degree to teach ballet by the age of 10 — yes, 10! She gained national recognition when she starred as Peter Pan in the stage adaptation.

Glynis Johns Walt Disney

Credit: Margaret Lockwood Facebook

Johns was selected for the role of Mrs. Banks by Walt Disney himself, a decision he was praised for. Film critic Leonard Maltin said that Johns’ “lights up the screen.” and “makes every minute count.”

Johns turned 100 back in October and, when asked about what it was like to celebrate such a milestone birthday, she gave what may be one of the cheekiest responses possible. She said, “It doesn’t make any difference to me. I’ve looked good at every age.”

We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Glynis Johns. 

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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