LONDON – Robert B. Sherman, one half of the prolific, award-winning pair of brothers who penned instantly memorable songs for “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” – as well as the most-played tune on Earth, “It’s a Small World (After All)” – has died. He was 86.
Sherman’s agent, Stella Richards, said Tuesday that Sherman died peacefully in London on Monday.
Sherman, together with his brother Richard, won two Academy Awards for Walt Disney’s 1964 smash “Mary Poppins” – best score and best song, “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” They also picked up a Grammy for best movie or TV score.
Their hundreds of credits as joint lyricist and composer also include the films “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Slipper and the Rose,” “Snoopy Come Home,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “The Magic of Lassie.” Their Broadway musicals included 1974’s “Over Here!” and stagings of “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the mid-2000s.
President George W. Bush awarded them the National Medal of Arts in 2008, commending them for music that “has helped bring joy to millions.”