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Mary Poppins & Chitty songwriter Robert B Sherman dies at 86

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Oscar-winning songwriter Robert B Sherman, whose credits included classic screen musicals Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, has died aged 86.

Together with his younger brother Richard he penned much-loved songs including "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", "It's a Small World (After All)", "Me Ol' Bamboo" and the Academy Award-winning "Chim Chim Cher-ee".

His impact on stage as well as screen was significant thanks to award-winning adaptations of Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, both of which premiered in the West End and featured the Sherman brothers' songs.

The many films that featured their music include The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, The Parent Trap, Charlotte's Web and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Born in New York in 1925, Robert B Sherman was the son of Tin Pan Alley songwriter Al Sherman and subsequently achieved his first hit with his brother, "Tall Paul", in 1958. Shortly afterwards they were commissioned as staff writers for Walt Disney, with whom they collaborated on films including the smash-hit Mary Poppins in 1965.

In recent years Sherman was based in London while his brother remained in the States. 

His death was announced on Facebook by his son Jeff, who wrote: "He went peacefully after months of truly valiantly fending off death. He loved life and his dear heart finally slowed to a stop when he could fight no more ... Forever his songs and his genius will bring hope, joy and love to this small, small world."


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