Oscar Actors: Johns, Glynis–Background, Career; Awards, Cumulative Advantage

Glynis Johns Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: Yes; father stage actor

Social Class: upper middle class; mother pianist; father actor



Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut:

Oscar Awards: No

Oscar Nominations: 1 Supp. Actress nomination, “The Sundowners,” 1960; age 37

Other Awards: Tony Award, A Little Night Music

Career Span:

Last film:


Marriages: 4 marriages; 1 to a writer


Glynis Johns was born October 5, 1923 in Pretoria, South Africa while her parents were on tour.  Of West Wales heritage, she’s the daughter of Alice Maude Steele, a pianist, and Mervyn Johns, a British stage and film actor. 

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 picture Mary Poppins. In both roles she sang songs written specifically for her, including “Send In the Clowns,” composed by Stephen Sondheim, and “Sister Suffragette,” written by the Sherman Brothers.

Supporting Actress Nomination

She was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the 1960 film “The Sundowners.”

Screen Image:

She is known for the breathy quality of her husky voice and her upbeat persona.