'Mary Poppins' star Glynis Johns celebrates 100th birthday

Legendary actress Glynis Johns, best known for starring as the energetic Mrs. Winnifred Banks in Mary Poppins, turns a remarkable 100 years old today.

The South-African born star has a memorable career that spans eight decades, in which she has appeared in more than 60 films and 30 plays.

Johns made her stage debut as a baby at just a few weeks old when her grandmother, a renowned virtuoso violinist, took her on stage in the West End.
Her mother was also an accomplished musician, but it was her famous Welsh father, Mervyn Johns, who gave her an entry to the world of British cinema. Under his guidance, she enrolled first in ballet school and later in stage school.
The actress made her screen debut in 1938 with the film adaptation of Winifred Holtby's posthumous novel South Riding and rose to stardom in the 1940s following her role as Anna in the war drama film 49th Parallel (1941) - for which she was awarded the National Board of Review Award for Best Acting.

She also played the title role in Miranda (1948) and made her first wave in Hollywood cinema after featuring in the joint British-American production, No Highway in the Sky (1951).

Johns is probably best known for playing Winifred Banks, the suffragette matriarch, in Walt Disney's musical motion picture Mary Poppins in 1964. The beloved flick was a huge hit and earned her a Laurel Award for Best Female Supporting Performance.

Her final films were in the 1990s, starring in While You Were Sleeping with American star Sandra Bullock in 1995, and featuring as Molly Shannon's grandmother in Superstar in 1999.

The veteran icon was the recipient of several awards and nominations throughout her stellar longstanding career, including the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Awards, the Laurel Awards, and the Laurence Olivier Awards.

She is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, becoming the oldest living Academy Award nominee in any acting category after the death of Olivia de Havilland in 2020 and also taking her place as the oldest living Disney Legend after Betty White sadly passed away in 2021.
In honor of hitting the impressive 100-year mark, many fans took to social media to celebrate her milestone birthday and reflect on her memorable filmography.

One supporter penned on the platform X: "Glynis Johns - Happy, happy birthday, and for all of the magic across the years, thank you!"

Another user wrote: "Happy birthday Glynis Johns, one of my all-time favorite actresses. Be she a mermaid, a suffragette, or sending in those clowns, there’s never been a woman (or a voice) quite like her."

A third fan shared: "Happy 100th Birthday to Glynis Johns. I'm watching her in the 1948 British comedy/fantasy called MIRANDA. She plays a mermaid who longs to spend time on land after she meets a married man who fell in the water while fishing."

According to TV Tonight, Johns' family is now calling on the UK government to give her a Damehood - which is an honorific title awarded by the royal family.

Her closest living relative, grandson Thomas Forwood, said: "I am so delighted that my grandmother is set to make it to this landmark birthday and we send her many congratulations.

"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," he continued. "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.

"Everyone in the family is immensely proud of her achievements. It would be fitting on this occasion for the UK government to formally acknowledge her cultural contribution by making her a Dame," he added.
Johns was based in Hollywood for the latter part of her career until her retirement in the early 2000s. She was married four times and outlived every husband, as well as her only son.

The Hollywood legend is now living in a residential home in Beverly Hills and did a recent interview with ABC 7. She was asked how being 100 feels and quipped: "It doesn't make any difference to me. Well, I looked very good for every age." However, she is delighted that her work will continue to be with us forever, saying: "That's what I hoped."

A very happy 100th to Johns for bringing us decades of joy!

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