Richard Sherman, Oscar-winning songwriter for ‘Mary Poppins,’ dead at 95

Songwriter Richard M. Sherman, who shared two Academy Awards with his brother Robert for their music in the 1964 film “Mary Poppins” and also co-wrote “It’s a Small World (After All),” died Saturday. He was 95.

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Sherman died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California, the Walt Disney Company announced. The cause of death was an age-related illness, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sherman was nominated for nine Oscars -- eight with his older brother, Robert -- and the siblings took home Academy Awards for Best Music Score and Best Original Song for “Chim-Chim Cher-ee.”

The score for Mary Poppins also includes “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Feed the Birds,” Variety reported. “Feed the Birds” was a personal favorite of Walt Disney, according to the entertainment news website.

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” entered the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965, Disney said in a news release.

Richard Sherman also won a Grammy Award for the “Mary Poppins” musical score and had 24 gold and platinum albums during his 65-year career, the release stated.

Sherman partnered with his brother to write songs from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “The Jungle Book,” which were also nominated for Oscars. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the siblings also wrote “The Age of Not Believing” from “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” (1971); “The Slipper and the Rose Waltz (He Danced With Me/She Danced With Me)” from “The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella” (1976) and “When You’re Loved” from “The Magic of Lassie” (1978).

Other film credits by the brothers included “The Parent Trap,” which featured a “duet” performed by Hayley Mills; “The Sword in the Stone”; “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree”; “The AristoCats;” “Snoopy, Come Home”; “Charlotte’s Web”; “Tom Sawyer”; and “The Tigger Movie.”

“Richard Sherman was the embodiment of what it means to be a Disney Legend, creating along with his brother Robert the beloved classics that have become a cherished part of the soundtrack of our lives,” Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement. “From films like ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Jungle Book’ to attractions like ‘It’s a Small World,’ the music of the Sherman Brothers has captured the hearts of generations of audiences. We are forever grateful for the mark Richard left on the world, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family.”

Robert died in March 2012 at age of 86, Variety reported.

Walt Disney also asked the Shermans to come up with a catchy tune for his “UNICEF Salutes the Children of the World” walk-through attraction at the 1964 World’s Fair, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

They created the song “It’s a Small World (After All),” which is featured at Disney theme parks worldwide.

Richard later described the song as a “prayer for peace,” adding that it is the one song by the brothers that makes people want to “either kiss or kill them.”

The brothers’ musical talents were not limited to Disney movies. In 1960 they wrote the song “You’re Sixteen,” which peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 that December.

A 1974 version by Ringo Starr went to No. 1 in January 1974, according to Billboard.

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