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Actress Glynis Johns

Glynis Johns

Actress with Welsh parents

Glynis Johns, the acclaimed actress, captivated audiences with her talent and charm throughout a career that spanned several decades. Born on November 5, 1923, in Pretoria, South Africa, Johns was the daughter of Mervyn Johns, a distinguished Welsh actor. Despite her South African birthplace, her familial connection to Wales through her father's heritage played a significant role in shaping her early life. Perhaps also due to her mother, Margaret Jerwyn, a famous Welsh singer and actress too!

Johns inherited a passion for the performing arts from her father, Mervyn Johns, who was a well-respected figure in both stage and film. Growing up in a family immersed in the world of acting, Glynis developed an early interest in the craft. Her journey in the entertainment industry began on the stage, where she showcased her theatrical prowess in various productions, laying the foundation for her future success.

In the 1940s, Glynis Johns transitioned to the silver screen, marking the beginning of a prolific film career. Known for her versatility, she effortlessly moved between genres, leaving an indelible mark on each character she portrayed. Her breakthrough came with notable performances in films like "The Adventures of Tartu" (1943) and "Perfect Strangers" (1945), where her acting prowess caught the attention of both critics and audiences alike.

One of Glynis Johns' most memorable roles came in the classic musical "Mary Poppins" (1964), where she portrayed Winifred Banks, the matriarch of the Banks family. Her endearing performance and the film's enduring popularity solidified her status as a beloved actress.

Glynis appeared in several films that were shot in Wales, such as "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" (1958) and "Mary Poppins" (1964). In fact, the exterior shots of the bank in "Mary Poppins" were filmed in Llandeilo, Wales

Beyond her work in cinema, Glynis Johns continued to make significant contributions to the world of entertainment, including memorable appearances on television and the stage. Her career was marked by a commitment to her craft, earning her accolades and respect from peers in the industry.

As a trailblazer in the entertainment world, Glynis Johns' legacy lives on through her body of work, showcasing a talent that transcended borders and left an indelible impact on the hearts of those who had the pleasure of witnessing her performances.

Stage performances: Glynis Johns also performed in several plays and musicals in Wales, including "The King and I" at the Wales Millennium Centre in 2006.

Thanks to Glynis' father Mervyn she spent some of her childhood in Wales with her family.

Connection: Welsh parents, Mervyn Johns, Margaret Jerwyn

Early Career:

  • 49th Parallel (1941): A wartime drama where she received critical acclaim for her role as Anna.

  • Miranda (1948): A charming romantic comedy where she plays the titular character.

  • The Weak and the Wicked (1954): A social drama exploring juvenile delinquency.

  • Mad About Men (1954): A lighthearted comedy about a group of women vying for the same man.

Hollywood Highlights:

  • The Court Jester (1955): A hilarious musical starring Danny Kaye, where Glynis Johns plays the love interest.

  • The Sundowners (1960): A sweeping Australian epic about a family of drovers.

  • Mary Poppins (1964): The iconic Disney musical where she plays the lovable housemaid, Mrs. Winifred Banks.

  • Under Milk Wood (1972): A whimsical adaptation of Dylan Thomas' play, featuring a star-studded cast.

Later Career:

  • The Ref (1994): A dark comedy where she plays a sharp-tongued grandmother caught in a hostage situation.

  • While You Were Sleeping (1995): A romantic comedy where she plays the supportive landlady.

  • Superstar (1999): A biographical drama about Marilyn Monroe, where she portrays Marilyn's mother.

  •  The Aristocats (1970). Glynis voiced the character Duchess in Disney's animation.