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‘Mary Poppins’ actress Glynis Johns dies at 100 – ABC News

Johns died from natural causes, her publicist said.

By Angeline Jane Bernabe

Glynis Johns, the British actress best known for her role as Mrs. Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins,” has died of natural causes, her publicist said. She was 100.

Johns starred alongside Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in the 1964 Academy Award-winning Disney film as suffragette mom Mrs. Banks. She appeared in over 60 films, including, “While You Were Sleeping” and “The Sundowners,” which earned her an Oscar nomination.

In an eight-decade career spanning the stage and screen, Johns was also the recipient of a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award and received nominations for a Golden Globe and a Laurence Olivier Award.

The actress also appeared in several television shows, including “Cheers,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Love Boat,” and in the 1960s “Batman” series as villainess Lady Penelope Peasoup.

Actress Davd Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Matthew Garber, Karen Dotrice in a scene from the movie “Mary Poppins.”

Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

Born on Oct. 5, 1923, in Pretoria, South Africa, Johns got her start as a performer at an early age. When she was 15, she made her screen debut in “South Riding,” a British drama film by director Victor Saville.

Following “South Riding,” she went on to star in films including “49th Parallel,” “Vacation from Marriage” and more, as well as the television series “The Frank Sinatra Show,” “Naked City” and a show called “Glynis,” a show where she played a mystery writer.

Before taking on the role of Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins,” she starred in the 1953 Disney film, “The Sword and the Rose,” as Princess Mary Tudor.

Following “Mary Poppins,” Johns starred in the Stephen Sondheim musical “A Little Night Music” on Broadway. Johns portrayed Desiree Armfeldt, and performed the song “Send In the Clowns” in the musical. Her performance earned her a Tony for best performance by a leading actress in a musical.

“I got applause for that,” Johns told KABC’s George Pennachio about the role during an interview celebrating her 100th birthday. “I loved doing it. I felt it.”

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