Travers,96, the woman who created the much-loved...

P. L.

April 25, 1996

P. L. Travers,96, the woman who created the much-loved fictional character Mary Poppins, died at her London home Tuesday, friends said yesterday.

"Mary Poppins," published in 1934, was was the first of four books about the extraordinary nanny who arrived with the wind to look after two children in Edwardian London.

The story received fresh attention in 1964 when Walt Disney turned it into a movie, starring Julie Andrews. But Ms. Travers, a fiercely private woman with an abiding interest in mythology, disliked the end product, saying it was too simplistic and toned down the darker side of the nanny's character.

Arthur P. Davis,91, a teacher, author and editor who inspired generations of young black American writers, died Sunday in Washington. He drew inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance, whose leaders he befriended during his student days in New York. In turn, he encouraged Amiri Baraka, Houston Baker, Paula Giddings and others over the years. He taught English at Howard University from 1944 to 1980, when he retired.

Alexander D'Arcy,87, who appeared in such films as "Prisoner of Zenda" and "How to Marry a Millionaire" in an acting career that spanned the 1920s to the 1970s, died of heart failure Saturday in West Hollywood, Calif. He made his international film debut in 1928 in "Garden of Allah" and his American debut in "Stolen Holiday."

Pub Date: 4/25/96

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