January 2, 2017


Glynis Johns (1923-) b. Pretoria, South Africa.

Glynis Johns

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, husky-voiced actress Glynis Johns was the daughter of British stage actor Mervyn Johns. She made her stage debut at the age of 12 and her film career began shortly after in Victor Saville’s South Riding (1938), in which she played Ralph Richardson’s headstrong daughter. She continued in strong supporting roles that displayed her versatility such as Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s WW2 feature The 49th Parallel (1941) and post-war Ealing drama Frieda (1947). She also appeared alongside her father in another Ealing production; the eerie The Halfway House (1943).

Johns graduated to more playful light comedy roles, memorably as the alluring mermaid in Miranda (1948). She became a familiar face in British cinema throughout the 1950s with such notable assignments as State Secret (1950), The Card (1952), The Beachcomber (1954) and Shake Hands with the Devil (1959). She received her sole Academy Award nomination for The Sundowners (1960) but her best-remembered role may well be the musical suffragette in Disney’s Mary Poppins (1964). In 1963 she appeared in her own short-lived US sitcom titled ‘Glynis’. During the 70s and 80s the film roles dried up but she won a Tony Award in 1973 for her role in ‘A Little Night Music’. In the 1990s she resurfaced in cinema roles often portraying an eccentric or cantankerous senior citizen.

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