Aylesbury Vale's Hollywood legend who starred in Mary Poppins has life chronicled by author

'Disney’s British Gentleman: The Life and Career of Hollywood star David Tomlinson’ catalogues the life and times of the actor you may not have known was from our area

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 10:48 am
David on his wedding day

Author Nathan Morley has written the book exploring the enigmatic life of much loved Hollywood legend David Tomlinson

David played Mr Banks in Mary Poppins, Professor Browne in Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Peter Thorndyke in The Love Bug.

To many, he’s the epitome of post-war British comedy.

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David with Julie Andrews

Tomlinson lived in Mursley near Winslow where he spent most of his life.

Nathan Morley has written this book because of the enigmatic nature of Mr Tomlinson.

He said: "‘I’ve always been fascinated by his performances, be it on in British films or American pictures, but there was so little known about him.

"With the help of his family, including his widow Audrey and many former colleagues and stars – including Griff Rhys Jones, Francis De La Tour and Geoffrey Boycott -- we managed to build up a complete life story – and believe me, it could read like fiction!.

David's home in Mursley

"Some old residents of Mursley still remember his big old Rolls Royce zooming down the country lanes."

Whilst Mr Tomlinson distinguished himself as an RAF pilot during the war, he also endured a turbulent, tumultuous personal life.

His first marriage was to end in horrific tragedy and his next romance ended with his lover marrying the founder of the American Nazi Party.

He did find love and security in his second marriage, but drama still played its part in his life – from the uncovering of an earthshattering family secret to the fight for an autism diagnosis for his son, up against the titans of the British medical establishment.

Nathan said that he was a 'fascinating character', and the book follows the unusual journey of his life.

He said: "He is still adored by generations of children and his fame continues to shine.

"This book takes you on a very unusual journey from an Edwardian childhood in Folkestone to the Disney Studios in California and all stops in between.

"It is also stuffed with action from the War, Hollywood and a turbulent youth. Obviously many readers are interested in the Walt Disney years and the old British films, which I’ve managed to cover extensively’.