Disney announced Friday that iconic film, TV and Broadway actress Angela Lansbury has joined the cast of “Mary Poppins Returns” as Balloon Lady, a popular character from PL Travers‘ book series. As we reported last week, filming has begun on the sequel to the classic 1964 film, with Emily Blunt playing the title role that won Julie Andrews a Best Actress Oscar more than half a century ago. Oscar nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Moana”) plays street lamplighter Jack while three-time Oscar champ and current contender Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) takes on the role of Poppins’ crazy cousin Topsy. Look for the film to be released on Christmas Day of 2018.
Director Rob Marshall, who helmed the 2002 Best Picture winner “Chicago,” has assembled an all-star cast for the 2018 sequel. Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer will portray adult versions of Michael and Jane from the original film, while Julie Walters plays Michael’s housekeeper. Lansbury will also be acting alongside Colin Firth as William Weatherall Wilkins, in addition to Blunt, Miranda and Streep.
Based on a wealth of material from Travers’ books, “Mary Poppins Returns” begins after Michael suffers a personal loss and Poppins re-enters his life to help the family by using her unique magical skills.
Lansbury is a five-time Tony Award winner and the recipient of an honorary Oscar in 2014. She never won a competitive trophy despite her three Best Supporting Actress nominations: “Gaslight” (1944), “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1945) and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962). And Lansbury never won an Emmy Award despite 18 nominations.
A beloved member of the Disney family, Lansbury starred in “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and voiced Mrs. Potts in the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” Are you excited that she’ll be playing Balloon Lady in “Mary Poppins Return”? Sound off in the comments section below.
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