Dick Van Dyke Had to Pay Walt Disney $4,000 for His Second 'Mary Poppins' Role

You may have watched Mary Poppins obsessively as a kid, but there's one detail your young eyes might have overlooked: Dick Van Dyke played more than one part.

The legendary actor, who is best known for playing Bert in the 1964 classic, also played the role of Mr. Dawes Sr, the incredibly old and creepy banker that probably gave young you nightmares.

Well, during ABC's Mary Poppins Returns: Behind the Magic – A Special Edition of 20/20, it was revealed that Van Dyke had to push really hard to play that second part. In fact, he literally had to pay for it.

"I said, 'I’ll do it for nothing,' the actor explained, "Actually, I had to give him $4,000 dollars. I had to pay him to do the part." Him, of course, being Walt Disney. The company was a little different back in the '60s. Despite the fact that Robert Stevenson (Old Yeller, Bedknobs and Broomsticks) directed the film, Walt was still calling the shots.

During the TV special's one-on-one discussion between Van Dyke and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is starring alongside Emily Blunt in the upcoming sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, the 92-year-old actor revealed that he had no regrets about paying Disney for the part, saying "And I’d do it again."

"But you know when they made me up as the old man in the old one," added Van Dyke, "I had to go to go to Walt and ask him for the part, he didn't give it to me." Mary Poppins was actually one of the Walt's last films before he passed in 1966.

Not only is Mary Poppins returning to our lives, but so in Van Dyke. In fact, he'll be reprising the role of Mr. Dawes Sr. in Returns and he looks exactly the same!

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 2.36.53 PM
(Photo: Disney )

"I got excited, of course, that there was going to be one, and, of course, my first question was: 'Can I be in it?'," Van Dyke told Miranda.

Mary Poppins Returns has Disney fans excited, especially since it's not just a remake of the beloved original, which starred Julie Andrews in the titular role. The new film sees Poppins returning to the Banks family long after the children have grow up, back to provide her assistance after Michael's wife dies.

While some assumed Miranda would be stepping into Van Dyke's original role of Bert, he's actually set to play Jack, the lamplighter. The film will also feature a star-studded supporting cast, with Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw taking on the adult versions of Jane and Michael, who were last seen flying kites and swallowing spoonfuls of sugar.

The film will also feature appearances by Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, and Colin Firth (Mamma Mia reunion!). Also, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh, Angela Lansbury and David Warner.


Unfortunately, the film won't be featuring a cameo by Julie Andrews, but that's only because she wanted to respect Emily Blunt. According to the new film's director, Rob Marshall, Andrews is "one thousand percent" in support of the film. Marshall, who is best known for directing Chicago (2002) and Into the Woods (2014), worked with Andrews in 1995 when he choreographed Victor/Victoria on Broadway, a role Andrews played on stage and on screen.

Mary Poppins Returns will be released in theaters everywhere on December 19, 2018.