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Dick Van Dyke On Working With Julie Andrews For ‘Mary Poppins’

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It’s been 60 years since Disney’s classic musical “Mary Poppins” premiered in theaters.

The beloved musical film, produced by Walt Disney, was released in 1964 and is based on the “Mary Poppins” book series by P.L. Travers. The film stars the one and only Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, the prim and proper nanny of The Banks Family, and Dick Van Dyke as Bert, the cheerful chimney sweep.

Six decades later, Dick Van Dyke is opening up about how “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” it was working with Julie Andrews on the 1964 Disney film.

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Remembering ‘Mary Poppins’

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“Mary Poppins” was an extreme success, earning 13 Academy Award nominations and winning five, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews, and Best Original Score and Best Original Song for the hit “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” written by the Sherman Brothers.

Additionally, the Disney movie took home two Grammy Awards for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture and Best Recording for Children.

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Dick Van Dyke Reflects On ‘Mary Poppins’

Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews at 'Mary Poppins' 40th Aniversary DVD Premiere
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Both Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews filmed various scenes and recorded multiple songs together, including the hit “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

When reflecting on acting alongside the Oscar winner, Van Dyke described her present as “cool as a cucumber.”

”I’m telling you what I had doing the recording,” he said on The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast, per various reports. “She not only is a soprano, she sang just a hair on top of the note,” he added regarding recording the movie’s famous soundtrack.

“(She is) just that little bit sharp, and I sing flat,” the actor added of his costar and longtime friend. “I’m actually a bass, but I had to sing.”

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Performing The Iconic Penguin Dance In ‘Mary Poppins’

Many fans of the film will remember the famous scene featuring Van Dyke’s character, Bert, dancing alongside animated penguins — a historic moment for Hollywood.

“I did the dance with the penguin,” he recalled. “It was such fun working with that stuff because animators would be there when I was filming and say no, he was a little higher or he was over there.”

This latest interview comes a few months after Julie Andrews reminisced about filming the 1964 film.

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“It was a very hot early September if I recall correctly, and the Disney team had built a big stage outdoors on the backlot of the studio and created a roof for shade from a giant tarpaulin,” Andrews explained at the time, per The New York Post. “As I arrived on that very first day, Dick was already working with the choreographers and the dancers.”

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Dick Van Dyke Was ‘Young And Fit’

Dick Van Dyke at 51st Daytime Emmy Awards - Press Room
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Andrews also recalled how “young, fit as can be, and really gorgeous” it was “to look at” Van Dyke was at the time.

“I’d never made a movie before, and I’d given birth to my lovely daughter Emma nearly six weeks earlier, and I quickly realized that I had better pull my socks up and get in shape,” she added. “I found it pretty daunting, I can tell you. Dick could not have been kinder, more genuinely sweet and helpful. I like to think that we did bond instantly.”

Julie Andrews Talks About Filming With Dick Van Dyke

“The Princess Diaries” actress opened up about working with Dick Van Dyke and how she would “collapse with the giggles … countless times” because of his personality and humor.

“It was so delightful to watch him imitating the animated penguins or attempting to ride the pony from the carousel,” she said of the iconic merry-go-round scene. “Becoming a magical chimney sweep. Actually, it was a very happy film for, I think, the entire company.”

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‘Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic’

Dick Van Dyke at Premiere Of Disney's 'Mary Poppins Returns' -
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Andrews’ comments came around the same time that CBS surprised Dick Van Dyke with a two-hour special, “Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic.”

“My whole life went before me. I didn’t realize I had done so many things while I was 75 years in show business,” he told People Magazine after he found out about the TV special. “You think, ‘I don’t deserve this,’ but it’s difficult to say how I felt,” he says. “I came home, and I said, ‘You know something? It’s going to be a couple of days before this actually sinks in that it happened.’ I never expected that kind of recognition.”

“My whole life went before me. I didn’t realize I had done so many things while I was 75 years in show business,” he added.

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