MARY POPPINS Composer Richard M. Sherman Has Passed Away at 95

Sherman, along with brother Robert, composed the music and lyrics for Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and more.

By: May. 26, 2024
MARY POPPINS Composer Richard M. Sherman Has Passed Away at 95
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Academy Award-winning composer Richard M. Sherman passed away at 95 due to age-related illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, on Saturday, May 25th, according to the Walt Disney Company.

Sherman was part of a writing team with his older brother Robert B. Sherman. The duo was responsible for songs from the classic musical Mary Poppins, including "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," and "A Spoonful of Sugar," as well as songs from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Parent Trap, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, and The Aristocats. 

For the stage, the pair composed Victory Canteen, Over Here!, and Busker Alley. Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang both had stage adaptations, with runs on Broadway and in the West End. Mary Poppins ran on Broadway from 2006 to 2013, and starred Ashley Brown in the title role, with Gavin Lee as Burt. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang opened in 2005, with a cast including Raul Esparza, Erin Dilley, Jan MaxwellMarc Kudisch, Kevin Cahoon, and Chip Zien. There were also stage adaptations of The Jungle Book and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Additional film credits include Snoopy Come Home, Charlotte’s Web, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, The Slipper and the Rose, The Absent-Minded Professor, Summer Magic, That Darn Cat!, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, The Happiest Millionaire, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, among others.

Sherman won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins, three GRAMMY® Awards, and received 24 gold and platinum albums. The brothers were inducted as Disney Legends in 1990, and into the Songwriting Hall of Fame in 2005. They were also awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2008.

Sherman is survived by his wife Elizabeth; son Gregory and grandsons William and Matthew; daughter Victoria Wolf, son-in-law Doug Wolf, and grandchildren Mandy and Anthony. He is also survived by his daughter from a previous marriage, Lynda Rothstein, as well as her two children and three grandchildren. Robert B. Sherman passed away on March 6th, 2012.

A private funeral is scheduled to take place Friday, May 31, at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles. Plans for a celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter Keddy