At 100, Glynis Johns Is One Of The Oldest Living Actors As Her Family Makes Special Request To Celebrate Her Centennial

Glynis Johns is one of the oldest living screen and stage actors whose career spanned over eight decades. Before retirement, the actress appeared in more than 60 films and 30 plays. She is known for her iconic roles in movies like “Mary Poppins,” “49th Parallel,” “The Sundowners” and many more. Aside from being an actress, Johns is also a dancer, singer and musician.

Johns was born on Oct. 5, 1923, making her one of the oldest living actors at the age of 100. To celebrate the milestone age, Johns’ family reached out to the U.K. government with a grand request in September 2023 for her to be bestowed with a Damehood.

A dame is a title that can be equated to a knight in the present day. It is a title given to those who have contributed a meaningful amount to a particular activity, most frequently at the national level. The contributions of these people are distinguished by long years of dedication, inspiration, and significance, and Johns’s acting career meets all these requirements.

Johns comes from a family of stars. Her father, Mervyn Johns, was an actor, her mother was a concert pianist, and her grandmother was a virtuoso violinist. Her first film role was in the 1938 drama “South Riding.” After that, she went on to star in other films like “On the Night of the Fire” and “The Halfway House” in which she acted alongside her father.

The iconic actress made appearances alongside other amazing actors and actresses during her career, including Ralph Richardson, Deborah Kerr and many more.

By the end of the 1940s, Johns became one of the U.K.’s most popular stars with her amazing performance as a mermaid in “Miranda,” and also her role in “Helter Skelter.” She went ahead to star in more movies like “Dear Mr Prohack.” Johns had a thrilling career through the 1950s as she became more famous, making appearances in both films in the United Kingdom and in Hollywood.

In 1960, the actress received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in “The Sundowners.” Still, in the ’60s, she played what is known as her most recognized role in “Mary Poppins.” In the 1970s, Stephen Sondheim wrote “Send in the Clowns” with Johns in mind. This was to honor her person. She won a Tony Award for her part in the musical “A Little Night Music,” which the song came from, and was also honored as a Disney Legend in the late ’90s. Johns further won a National Board of Review Award for “49th Parallel” and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for “A Little Night Music.”

Throughout her acting career, Johns appeared alongside other stars like Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Long and James Stewart. She was married four times, outliving her four spouses. John’s closest surviving family member is her grandson, Thomas Forwood.

Johns’ final appearance in a film was in 1999’s “Superstar” before she retired. She starred alongside comedian Will Ferrell. As a senior citizen, the actress lives a quiet life in a Beverly Hills retirement care home. Since Johns entered her 90s, she has not had a public profile. However, she has continued to have fans in awe from every corner of the world.

From a look at Johns’ eight-decade-long career as an actress, one can infer that the great star has established her stardom enough that it would be deserved to add the damehood to her list of lifetime achievements. The actress’s grandson, Forwood, opened up about the family’s request to Daily Mail. He shared:

“Glynis enjoyed a fabulous career over many decades during which she showed her immense talent and versatility in a range of parts on screen and stage. … Everyone in the family is immensely proud of her achievements.”

He added, “It would be fitting on this occasion for the UK government to formally acknowledge her cultural contribution by making her a Dame.”

After naming some actors who have been honored with the damehood, Forwood continued, “And while I would never seek to diminish their achievements, I do feel that in this context it’s clear that Glynis has been overlooked.”

The screenwriter added that since much time has gone by without Johns being honored, the government could “make up for lost time by making her a Dame immediately.” Other fans of the actress’s great work, like veteran Labour MP Chris Bryant and film writer Richard Luck, also felt the same way. Luck told the publication, “Hers is a fascinating career not least because it’s had so many phases.”

During Johns’ birthday on Oct. 5, 2023, ABC7 reported Johns’ reflections on her eight-decade career. When asked how 100 felt, she shared, “It doesn’t make any difference to me.” She also shared that it was lovely how her work has continued to flourish in the minds of people even as she celebrated a century of life.

Isn’t it amazing to see one of the oldest living actors, Glynis Johns, celebrate an astonishing milestone? What do you think of the actress’s impressive acting career? Let us know, and be sure to pass this on to other Johns fans.

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