World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Glynis Johns

Article Id: WHEBN0000144884
Reproduction Date:

Title: Glynis Johns  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: The Chapman Report, The Sundowners, Mad About Men, Dear Brigitte, Little Gloria... Happy at Last
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Glynis Johns

Glynis Johns
Glynis Johns (1952)
Born (1923-10-05) 5 October 1923
Pretoria, South Africa
Occupation Actress, dancer, pianist, singer
Years active 1935–1999
Spouse(s) Anthony Forwood
(m.1942–48, divorced); 1 child
David Foster
(m.1952, divorced)
Cecil Henderson
(m.1960–62, divorced)
Elliott Arnold
(m.1964, divorced)
Children Gareth Forwood (1945–2007)

Glynis Johns (born 5 October 1923) is a British stage and film actress, dancer, pianist and singer. She is best known for creating the role of Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music on Broadway, for which she won a Tony Award, and for playing Winifred Banks in Walt Disney's musical motion picture box office smash Mary Poppins. In both roles, she originated songs written specifically for her, including "Send in the Clowns", composed by Stephen Sondheim, and "Sister Suffragette", written by the Sherman Brothers.

Early life

Johns was born in Pretoria, South Africa, the daughter of Alys Maude (née Steele-Payne; died 1971), a pianist, and Mervyn Johns (1899–1992), the British stage and film actor.[1] Her roots are in West Wales, and she was born in Pretoria while her parents were performing on tour there. She attended Clifton High School in Bristol for a short time. Her ancestors on the Johns side are recorded as living at the farm Glanmorlais Uchaf, Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire in 1701.


Johns made her first stage appearance in Buckie's Bears as a child ballerina at the Garrick Theatre in 1935. She made her 1938 film debut in the movie version of Winifred Holtby's novel South Riding. In 1944, she appeared with her father in Halfway House and in 1948 starred as a mermaid in Miranda (Johns later reprised the role in a 1954 sequel, Mad About Men). In 1952, she co-starred in the movie version of Arnold Bennett's novel The Card. She was voted by British exhibitors the tenth most popular local star at the box office in 1951 and 1952.[2][3]

She made a successful transition to Hollywood, appearing in Personal Affair (1953) starring Gene Tierney and in The Court Jester (1956) as Danny Kaye's love interest. The following year, she starred in the especially sad Christmas film All Mine to Give. Johns received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the 1960 film The Sundowners. One of her best-known film roles was that of Winifred Banks, the children's mother, a suffragette, in Mary Poppins (1964). Her last film appearance was in the 1999 film Superstar.[4]

Johns also appeared on television and on stage, most memorably in the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's musical A Little Night Music. The song "Send in the Clowns" was reportedly written with her in mind. In 1973, she won a Tony award for her role in the musical. She later appeared in London in Cause Célèbre by Terence Rattigan. She played opposite Rex Harrison in his final acting role in a Broadway revival of W. Somerset Maugham's play The Circle in 1990. (Harrison's death in his New York apartment from cancer ended the show's run.) Johns starred in the premiere of Horton Foote's A Coffin in Egypt in 1998 at the Bay Street Theatre as Myrtle Bledsoe.

She was cast in 1961 in the ABC/Warner Brothers crime drama, The Roaring 20s. She portrayed Kitty O'Moyne, an Irish immigrant who falls overboard into the harbor as she arrives in the United States. Tim McCool, played by Philip Carey, rescues her, and the two fall in love. Tim, however, is mixed up with gangsters.[5]

In the 1962–1963 television season, Johns guest starred in the CBS anthology series The Lloyd Bridges Show. In the fall of 1963, she and Keith Andes starred as a married couple in her eponymous CBS television series Glynis, in which she appears as a mystery writer and Andes portrays a criminal defense attorney. The program was cancelled after thirteen episodes. From 1988-89, she played Trudie Pepper, a senior citizen living in an Arizona retirement community, in the sitcom Coming of Age on CBS.[6]

Personal life

Johns has been married four times. Her first husband was Anthony Forwood (m. 1942–48), with whom she had her only child, Gareth Forwood (1945–2007), an actor, who predeceased his mother.[6]


Theatre (selected)

  • 1936–36 St Helena, Old Vic
  • 1937 Judgement Day, Embassy and Strand
  • 1938 Quiet Wedding, Wyndham's
  • 1941 Quiet Weekend, Wyndham's
  • 1943 Peter Pan (Peter), Cambridge Theatre
  • 1950 Fools Rush In, Fortune
  • 1950 The Way Things Go, Phœnix
  • 1952 Gertie (title role), Broadway
  • 1956 Major Barbara (title role), Broadway
  • 1963 Too True to Be Good, Broadway
  • 1966 The King's Mare, Garrick
  • 1969–70 A Talent to Amuse, Phoenix Theatre
  • 1969–70 Come As You Are, New Theatre
  • 1971–72 Marquise, The Hippodrome, Bristol
  • 1973 A Little Night Music (Tony Award for best musical actress), Broadway
  • 1975 Ring Round the Moon, Los Angeles
  • 1976 13 Rue de l'Amour, Phœnix
  • 1978 Cause Celebre (Best Actress Award, Variety Club), Her Majesty's Theatre
  • 1980–81 Hay Fever, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
  • 1980–90 The Boy Friend, Toronto
  • 1989–90 The Circle, Broadway
  • 1998 A Coffin in Egypt, Bay Street Theatre


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Glynis Johns at the Internet Movie Database

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.