Dick Van Dyke’s Best Mary Poppins Performances [VIDEO]
Dick Van Dyke was one of the recipients of the 2021 Kennedy Center Awards. The film and television legend’s career was showcased as he accepted the honor along with fellow winners Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks and Midori.
At 95, Van Dyke has a long resume in the entertainment industry, dating back to the late 1950s, according to IMDB. One of his most beloved roles was in the 1964 film “Mary Poppins”, in which he played the dual role of jack-of-all-trades Bert the Chimney Sweep, as well as the role of Bank President Mr. Dawes. .
In an interview with CNN, Van Dyke once said that “Mary Poppins” was her favorite role in her six-decade career. “The role in ‘Mary Poppins’ was probably the most fun I’ve ever had,” he said. “It was so much fun. It’s also my favorite movie.
The Oscar-winning classic film was a vast showcase of Van Dyke’s singing and dancing skills.
Here’s a look back at some of Van Dyke’s most iconic performances in “Mary Poppins”.
“Pavement artist / Chim Chim Cher-ee”
One of the most famous songs of “Mary Poppins” is “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, the famous duet of Van Dyke and Julie Andrews. But Van Dyke also performed a solo version of the song as his character chalked his art through the streets of London.
The character of Bert did not exist until composers Robert and Richard Sherman wrote the song. They were inspired by a sketch of a hissing chimney sweep and initially thought Mary Poppins would sing the tune to the kids, but Walt Disney stepped in and suggested it would be better to create a new character.
“Walt said, ‘You know we have this guy drawing pictures on the sidewalk and we have a group of one man and we have a guy who is flying kites – why not just do one and call him Bert, and he’ll be a chimney sweep too? Robert Sherman once said, per SongFacts.
“Not in time” with the chimney sweep cast
Who can forget “Step in Time”, the famous Van Dyke number featuring Bert and the other chimney sweeps as they danced and sang on the rooftops of London? It was one of the liveliest routines in the movie.
Over 55 years later, Van Dyke’s iconic performance of “Mary Poppins” is also remembered as professional dancer Derek Hough performed a version of “Step in Time” in her honor.
“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” With Julie Andrews
One of the hardest song titles to say – let alone the spelling – “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” got its start in Mary Poppins ‘history when the Sherman brothers adapted PL Travers’ book into a movie on big. screen, according to BBC News. Magical nanny Mary and her chimney sweep sidekick recited the word twister multiple times in one of the movie’s most famous sequences.
Richard Sherman once said that the word originated in the same way he and his brother made up words when they were children.
“We used to invent the double-talk swear words, we could create a nasty swear word for kids and that’s where it all started,” he said. “We started with ‘awful’ and then you can look smart and be precocious. We had “precocious” and “excruciating” and we wanted something super-colossal and it’s cheesy, so we took “great” and did a double talk to become a “califragilist” which doesn’t mean anything, that is. just came out like that. In short, that’s what we did in two weeks.
“I love to laugh” with Ed Wynn and Julie Andrews
Van Dyke showcased his Cockney accent in the “I love to laugh” streak more than his singing skills. He told CNN that he mainly focused on dancing for the film, and the filmmakers gave him a vocal coach who turned out to be an Irishman.
“And her Cockney wasn’t much better than mine,” Van Dyke said.
“During the making of the image, nobody joked about the accent, but I took it well afterwards,” he added.
As for the theft he did in the movie – and especially during this song – Van Dyke told the New York Times: “We had to fly constantly. One day [on the original movie] we were all up there doing ‘I Love to Laugh’ and they broke up for lunch, and everyone left and forgot we were hanging up there. It must have been 15 minutes before someone figured it out and dropped in on us.
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