Richard M. Sherman, 'Mary Poppins' and 'It's a Small World' songwriter, dies at 95

Richard and his brother, Robert, were inducted as Disney Legends in 1990.

Disney songwriting legend Richard M. Sherman, remembered for "Mary Poppins" and "It's a Small World," among many others, has died at 95 years old, the Walt Disney Company announced Saturday.

Sherman died Saturday due to an age-related illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, the company said.

One half of the Academy Award-winning duo with his brother, the late Robert B. Sherman, Richard is remembered as a "prolific composer-lyricist" and a "key member of Walt Disney's inner circle of creative talents," the company said in a press release.

"Richard Sherman was the embodiment of what it means to be a Disney Legend, creating along with his brother Robert the beloved classics that have become a cherished part of the soundtrack of our lives," said Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

"We are forever grateful for the mark Richard left on the world, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family," Iger added.

The Sherman Brothers won two Academy Awards for their stylings in the 1964 classic film, "Mary Poppins" -- Best Score: Substantially Original and Best Original Song for "Chim Chim Cher-ee."

"You don't get songs like 'Spoonful of Sugar' without a genuine love of life, which Richard passed on to everyone lucky enough to be around him," Pete Docter, chief creative officer, of Pixar Animation Studios, said in the release. "Even in his 90s he had more energy and enthusiasm than anyone, and I always left renewed by Richard's infectious joy for life."

The brothers were inducted as Disney Legends in 1990.

Richard's 65-year career was distinguished with nine Academy Award nominations, three Grammy Awards and 24 gold and platinum albums.

Disney theme park visitors around the world know Sherman for his cherished songs "It's a Small World," "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" and "The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room."

The Sherman Brothers' discography is also featured in several beloved films including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968), "Snoopy Come Home" (1972), "Charlotte's Web" (1973), "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1973), "Huckleberry Finn" (1974), and "The Slipper and the Rose" (1976).

"The Sherman brothers were professional optimists who found a perfect patron in Walt Disney," Their songs had an upbeat outlook that spilled over into Richard's life, which was not without its troubles and challenges," Leonard Maltin, film historian, author, and educator said in the release. "He was especially proud that he and his brother carried on a songwriting career like their father, who encouraged them early on."

Robert B. Sherman died at 85 years old in March 2012.

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