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'Mary Poppins' Child Actress Dishes on Experience

December 20, 2013

Nearly 50 years after she starred in Mary Poppins as Jane at age 8, Karen Dotrice reflects back upon her experience on the film and with producer Walt Disney.

"For us, it was just a really happy and exciting experience," Dotrice said at Monday's Saving Mr. Banks premiere of her and fellow child actor Matthew Garber's experience working on Mary Poppins, which was released 50 years from this coming August.

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The former child actress says that while she was close with Walt Disney, whom she referred to as "Uncle Walt," she was intrigued to learn a few tidbits about his life from the new film Saving Mr. Banks, which centers upon the lives of Disney and Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers.

"What suddenly made a difference to me was realizing why Uncle Walt had been so kind to me. ... I was eight, and as it turns out, in seeing 'Saving Mr. Banks,' Walt was eight when he was sent out to work for his father in snow and rain and [had a] horrible experience, and P.L. Travers was eight when her father died. So, I think there was the magic eights that made them give me and my family an incredible, magical experience." Read More