Glynis Johns is a South African-born British actress, singer, and dancer, who appeared in the Disney film productions of The Sword and the Rose as Mary Tudor, Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue as Helen, and most notably, Mary Poppins as Winifred Banks. Johns also appeared in the Touchstone Pictures film The Ref and the Hollywood Pictures film While You Were Sleeping. She is known for the breathy quality of her husky voice and her upbeat persona.
Born in Pretoria, South Africa, while her parents were performing on tour. As a child, she took ballet lessons and appeared in stage productions, like St. Helena, The Children's Hour, and Peter Pan where became the youngest actress, at 19, to play the title role in that production. Johns also made history when she received a degree to teach dance by age 10 and by 12, she won 25 gold medals for dance in England.
Johns made her screen debut in 1938 in the film version of Winifred Holtby's novel South Riding. This soon led to more roles in films, like 49th Parallel, The Adventures of Tartu, The Halfway House, Perfect Strangers, Miranda, Flesh and Blood, No Highway in the Sky, The Magic Box, The Seekers, Mad About Men, The Weak and the Wicked, The Court Jester, The Sundowners, Dear Brigitte, and The Chapman Report.
During this time, she also continued to act on stage during this time in productions, like Quiet Weekend, Fools Rush In, The Way Things Go, Gertie, Major Barbara, Too Good to be True, Hay Fever, The Circle, and A Little Night Music, where she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in s Musical for her role as Desiree Armfeldt and introduced the popular showtune "Send in the Clowns".
Her television credits include The Roaring '20s, Batman, Cheers, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Coming of Age, and her own short-lived sitcom Glynis.