6 March 2012 10:47 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Robert B Sherman, who has died aged 86, was part of one of the most unusual songwriting teams of all time. He and his younger brother Richard may not be as well known as other pairs of composers and lyricists, but they will for ever be remembered as the writers of Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and a swath of other productions from Walt Disney Studios.

Their score for Mary Poppins (1964), the movie that introduced Julie Andrews to filmgoers, secured them a place in popular musical history and made them multimillionaires. Featuring songs including Jolly Holiday, Let's Go Fly a Kite and Feed the Birds, it won them two Oscars. It also included the classic A Spoonful of Sugar and the song with the one-word title that they used when they accepted the Academy awards: "All we can say is 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious'. »

- Michael Freedland

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