The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Actress Glynis Johns dies at 100

20th Century-Fox/Getty Images
Glynis Johns, centenarian and actress, best known for her role as Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins (1964), died Thursday, January 4. The well-known and respected actress died of natural causes in a Los Angeles assisted living facility. Fans lament as yet another old Hollywood star loses a life. Her legacy continues to live on through her music and acting despite the beloved star’s death.

Glynis Johns, best known for her role as Winifred Banks in Disney’s Mary Poppins, passed away January 4. At the age of 100, the centenarian died of natural causes in Los Angeles after an influential career in old Hollywood, spanning over 50 years. She left her mark on the world through her heartwarming and impressive performances as a musician, actress and dancer. The actress won a Tony Award in 1973 and held a nomination for an Oscar in 1961.

Johns’s former colleagues, fans and remaining family mourn her loss as her loved ones arrange her funeral. She came into the world in South Africa in 1923 while her mother Alyce Steele toured the country. In her life, Johns developed a fondness and talent for performing, racking up 91 IMDb credits as an actress and still others for the music she performed. Johns’s persistent appearances in movies and theater during her career chiefly between the 1950s and 1970s — cemented her role as a major player in the landscape of Old Hollywood.

Her death hits fans hard with the realization of how scantily famous performers of the era remain alive. Although unsurprising, the recent reminder saddens lovers of the genre. Those grieving continue to comfort themselves with the massive mark she left on the world of entertainment.

“I think it’s crazy how she lived to 100 which is a blessing in itself since she was lively before she died. I think when stars die they live forever through their movies and roles. Death to me is a sad topic though, and I think she as a person was very funny and a lovely soul,” magnet sophomore Kennedi Tolbert said.

Johns played Mrs. Banks in the hit 1964 movie “Mary Poppins”. Her character supported the story through her musical skill and suffragette role, bringing a certain quality of realistic color to the film. The movie focuses on the effects that the new nanny — Mary Poppins(Julie Andrews) — creates for the Banks family. The family consists of two imaginative children — Jane and Michael (Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber)— a selfish father working at the bank (David Tomlinson) and the mother Johns played. In the story, the two career-driven parents spend minimal quality time with the children, leading to the surreal and escapist activities provided by Poppins. The story resolves with a loving reunion of the family and the quiet exit of the nanny.

 Johns won a Tony award for her performance as Desiree Armfeldt in “A Little Night Music” in 1973. The Broadway musical tells the story of various characters’ awkward and complicated love lives. She additionally starred prominently as the female lead, a mermaid, in 1948’s “Miranda.” 

Glynis powered her way through life with intelligence, wit, and a love for performance, affecting millions of lives, 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,” Johns’s manager, Mitch Clem said.

Although the beloved star’s life came to an end, Johns’ works, both well-known and obscure, hold a special spot in the hearts of millions. Fans cannot forget her thanks to her mark on the entertainment landscape and the kindness that filled her. Her death casts a brief shadow on the world, but Johns’s life filled it with light.

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About the Contributor
Rosalyn Schwanke, Reporter
Rosalyn Schwanke is a sophomore at NC. She adores vintage fashion and music. Though she now loves reading and writing, particularly poetry, in her earlier childhood she hated anything that made her crack open a book. Her personality differs wildly depending on her environment, but she wants to learn something from her environment no matter where she is. She is a member of several clubs around the school and outside of it and is the social media manager of the NC chapter of Key Club. Her free time is dominated by music, books, journaling, creating things and makeup. While the future seems foggy to her now, she knows she wants it to hold a positive impact, no matter the size. 

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