Dick Van Dyke Once Said He’d Never Live Down His Notorious Accent in ‘Mary Poppins’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Dick Van Dyke

Chim chim cher-ee! Er, perhaps not. Mary Poppins could also be some of the beloved live-action Disney films of all time, however even followers can agree that Dick Van Dyke’s accent within the movie isn’t fairly as much as snuff. The American actor is notorious for delivering one of many worst English accents in cinematic historical past when he performed the chimney sweep Bert within the 1964 musical. Even Van Dyke himself has admitted that he’ll by no means dwell down his efficiency within the film. 

Dick Van Dyke as soon as apologized for his ‘atrocious’ cockney accent   

Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke | Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for ABA

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In Mary Poppins, the Illinois-raised comic Van Dyke did his greatest to placed on a convincing cockney accent. But his greatest simply wasn’t adequate. Ever since, he’s endured teasing about his efficiency. The actor acknowledged the criticism in 2017, when he apologized after studying he’d be receiving BAFTA’s Britannia award for excellence in TV. 

“I appreciate this opportunity to apologise to the members of BAFTA for inflicting on them the most atrocious cockney accent in the history of cinema,” he stated, in keeping with The Guardian. 

Dick Van Dyke stated nobody stated a phrase to him about his accent whereas filming ‘Mary Poppins’ 

Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins
Bert (Dick Van Dyke) and Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) in Mary Poppins | FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives by way of Getty Images

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The Dick Van Dyke Show star has commented prior to now in regards to the response to his cockney accent.

“People in the U.K. love to rib me about my accent, I will never live it down,” he as soon as stated, in keeping with The Guardian. “They ask what part of England I was meant to be from and I say it was a little shire in the north where most of the people were from Ohio.”

Van Dyke has stated he had no concept when he was making the film that his accent wasn’t hitting the mark. 

“I was working with an entire English cast and nobody said a word, not Julie [Andrews], not anybody said I needed to work on it so I thought I was alright,” he’s recounted.

Dick Van Dyke additionally appeared in ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ — and he made positive he obtained the accent proper

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Van Dyke didn’t let criticism of his accent cease him from making a cameo look within the 2018 Mary Poppins sequel Mary Poppins Returns. Fortunately, he didn’t need to mud off the cockney accent to play Mr. Dawes Jr., the now-elderly son of the banker Mr. Dawes Sr. from the unique movie (a job additionally performed by Van Dyke). 

Even although he was in his 90s, Van Dyke didn’t hesitate to carry out a memorable dance-bit — full with a leap onto a desk — within the film, no stunt double required. But he was anxious about his accent, he informed the New York Times. He stated some preparation was required to make “sure sure I sounded like a Brit.”

“I’ve taken it on the chin for 60 years about my atrocious cockney accent in the first movie,” he went on to say. “No one has ever forgotten it. Because of that, they had a language gal almost handcuffed to me. She made me sound pretty good. They won’t laugh at me on this one.”

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