Mary Poppins (character)

Mary Poppins (Character)

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Mary Poppins (character)

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Mary Poppins is a fictional character and the protagonist of P. L. Travers' Mary Poppins books and all of its adaptations. She is a magical nanny of unknown origins who arrives at the Banks home in Cherry Tree Lane where she is given charge of the Banks children and teaches them valuable lessons with a magical touch. Julie Andrews, who played the character in the 1964 film adaptation, won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Description of character

Mary Poppins is a slightly stern but loving nanny who uses magic and self-control to take care of the Banks children. She is usually identifiable by her sensible hat and parrot umbrella which she brings with her wherever she goes on outings. She is loving and kind towards the children, but can be firm when needed. She is, "practically perfect in every way". In the film version, she is a very beautiful young woman, with an air of grace and elegance about her.


Mary Poppins in P.L. Travers' books is strict and no-nonsense, asserting her unusual brand of discipline over the four (later five) Banks children in her charge. Mary is very vain and is always admiring herself in the mirror and other reflections. She constantly scolds the children for their "bad" behaviour, especially when they point out the magical things she does, for she constantly denies she is anything but a prim and proper lady. Mary only shows her gentler side around her friends, among them the Matchman (Bert), Mrs. Corry and...
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