Glynis Johns, While You Were Sleeping Actor, Dead At 100

Actor Glynis Johns passed away on January 4, 2024 at 100 years old, according to Variety. Her manager Mitch Clem shared a statement announcing her death and commending Johns for her illustrious career. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Clem said the cause of death was natural causes.

Johns may be most recognized by Disney fans for her role as Mrs. Banks in "Mary Poppins." She also starred in "While You Were Sleeping" alongside Sandra Bullock, Peter Gallagher, and Bill Pullman. Clem told The Hollywood Reporter that Johns has no immediate surviving family, as her son Gareth Forwood (from her first of four marriages) has already passed away.

However, Johns does have a grandson, screenwriter Thomas Forwood. In an interview with Express from 2023, Thomas said, "My grandmother had the most incredible career over many decades and produced this vast body of work. There's so much of it. I've only seen a fraction of it myself. But I'm immensely proud of her." He also divulged that Johns struggled with stage fright. "So that makes her career even more remarkable," he said.

Sondheim wrote a song specifically for Glynis Johns

Glynis Johns grew up in the performing arts due to family ties to entertainment, and she took her work as an actor very seriously. In 1990, she was quoted as telling The Associated Press, "As far as I'm concerned, I'm not interested in playing the role on only one level. The whole point of first-class acting is to make a reality of it. To be real. And I have to make sense of it in my own mind in order to be real" (via AP News).

Johns also wasn't just an actor for the screen. She worked as a stage actor as well, snagging a Tony in 1973 for her performance as Desiree Armfeldt in the original Broadway cast of "A Little Night Music." AP News reported that Stephen Sondheim — who died in 2023 — wrote the show's song "Send in the Clowns" for her specifically, which Johns called, "the greatest gift I've ever been given in the theater." Johns joined a Los Angeles-based cast of "A Little Night Music" almost two decades after that initial run, playing the mother of the main character. 

Another entertainment industry legend, Betty White, passed away in December 2021 a few weeks before her own 100th birthday. Her thoughts on turning 100 became bittersweet after she passed. However, when KABC asked Johns how it felt turning 100 back in October 2023, the British star said, "It doesn't make any difference to me." When the outlet said that at least we would always have her performances, she said, "What a lovely thought. That's what I hoped."