Disney movie features child with Abingdon ties

ABINGDON, Va. - A local family got together at the movie theatre in Abingdon today to check out the new major motion picture "Saving Mr. Banks," starring Tom Hanks; that's because they have personal ties to the flick.

Mary Crosby, of Abingdon, has a granddaughter in the film.

You may have seen the trailer that briefly shows a little blonde girl walking a dog -- that's Crosby's granddaughter Lily Bigham, who was six years old at the time of filming. Lily has a couple of lines and is in several scenes.

Crosby even got to act as Lily's guardian during a couple of weeks of filming last October in California. "We would get to her trailer and put her clothes on, then she'd be called to school," said Crosby. "She had to do her classwork, then she'd be called to get her hair done, then she'd be called to go to the filming, so it was a busy day. I was glad to be a part of it."

"Saving Mr. Banks" is about Walt Disney's efforts to persuade a British author to allow her "Mary Poppins" children's books to be made into a movie.

Lily plays a little girl named Bity.

Her parents, Will and Catherine Bigham, both acted at the Barter Theatre for about five years; they now live in California.

As for the movie, Lily's family says it's a tearjerker.

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