Dick Van Dyke Paid Disney to Play Two Roles in “Mary Poppins”

The 92-year-old star said it took persuasion and cash to play a banker.

Mary Poppins
Dick Van Dyke as Bert, Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Karen Dotrice as Jane Banks and Matthew Garber (1956 - 1977) as Michael Banks in the Disney musical "Mary Poppins." (Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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In a sneak peek of Dick Van Dyke’s sit-down with Lin-Manuel Miranda to discuss their new movie, the 92-year-old acting icon reveals that he had to persuade Walt Disney to let him play a second role in the classic Mary Poppins film.

The interview is part of ABC’s Thursday night special, Mary Poppins Returns: Behind the Magic – A Special Edition of 20/20. Van Dyke, who costarred opposite Julie Andrews in the 1964 family film, discusses the original movie and the sequel out in December. Van Dyke and Miranda appear in the new film about the magical nanny starring Emily Blunt.

In the Oscar-winning  movie, Van Dyke is known for playing the goofy and lovable chimney sweeper. But he also appears as another character — a role he paid Walt Disney $4,000 to play.

Van Dyke’s typically forgotten second act in the movie is the banker, Mr. Dawes Sr. “I said, ‘I’ll do it for nothing,’ the film and TV star recalled. “Actually, I had to give him $4,000 dollars. I had to pay him to do the part. And I’d do it again.”

In the sequel, Van Dyke plays Mr. Dawes Jr. “I got excited, of course, that there was going to be one, and, of course, my first question was: ‘Can I be in it?’ ” the actor told Miranda of his reaction to hearing of the sequel, which takes place years after the original.

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