Friday, July 9, 2010

Gene & Mary Poppins: The Untold Story, Pt. 1



I recently uncovered this blockbuster piece of info: Julie Andrews was not the first actress considered for “Mary Poppins.” Ready for the untold story?

It was January, 1961. Gene Marshall had been retired for almost four years from the silver screen; things had sure quieted down for her and she was finally able to enjoy life without the constant glare of the flashbulb in her face. However, a phone call promised to change all of that.

“Hello Miss Marshall—this is Walt Disney,” said the familiar voice over the phone. “I think I may have FINALLY found a project that we can work together on! I am so excited to share it with you. Any chance that you’d be interested in talking about it?”

“Oh, Mr. Disney! Of course I will meet with you. However, I have to tell you—I do feel a bit rusty. You might not be interested once we get together!”

“I find that hard to be true! You always were very modest about your talents, Miss Marshall! How about coming to the studio next Wednesday, around 10:30, and then we can head over to the commissary for lunch afterwards.”

“I would love that—it has been too long since we have visited! Thank you so much for thinking of me, Mr. Disney!”

As you can see from the photos here, that project was none other than “Mary Poppins.” These rare wardrobe test photos have never seen the light of day; as you can see from the first shot, it took a lot of restoration work to get the color back to normal.













I’ll be back with more of this tale—stay tuned!

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