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2014 Karen Dotrice
Like her Disney colleague Hayley Mills, Karen Dotrice also came from a distinguished British theatrical family: Her father is actor Roy Dotrice. At age eight, Walt hired Karen to appear in The Three Lives of Thomasina as a girl whose relationship with her father is mended by the magical reappearance of her cat. While Karen was in California, her father stayed in England (where he was portraying King Lear) and Walt personally took care of her family, often hosting them in his Palm Springs home.
Karen’s performance was so well-received that Walt signed her to play Jane Banks in Mary Poppins. The film was hailed as Disney’s masterpiece, and was a huge box office hit that won five Academy Awards®. Karen then starred opposite Walter Brennan and fellow child star Matthew Garber (who had also appeared with her in Thomasina and Poppins) in The Gnome-Mobile. The film, released after Walt’s death, proved to be her final film as a child actor.
Since then, Karen has appeared in only a handful of television shows and films. She has returned to Disney to lend her voice to spoken-word adaptations of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas; and a sing-along release of Mary Poppins. She also appeared on camera in two documentaries: Walt: The Man Behind the Myth and The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story.