Sally Ann Howes death: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s Truly Scrumptious actor dies aged 91.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actor Sally Ann Howes has died, aged 91.
The star, who played Truly Scrumptious in the 1968 musical film alongside Dick Van Dyke, died on Sunday 19 December, according to The Times. No cause of death has been disclosed.
Sally Ann Howes Cause of Death
Her nephew, Toby, confirmed the news on Twitter, writing: “I can also confirm the passing of my beloved Aunty #SallyAnnhowes who died peacefully in her sleep yesterday.
My brother & I thought Sally Ann might hold on until the #Christmas screening of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as this would have greatly appealed to her mischievous side.”
The actor’s manager, Matthew Sullivan, told The Independent: “I had the great honour of representing and sharing a friendship with Ms Howes for the past 25 years. She had a great sense of humor and wonderful sense for adventure.
“There usually is not a week that goes by that my office does not receive a letter from a fan of hers from around the world.”
Howes was born in St John’s Wood, London, in 1930 to musical comedy performer Bobby Howes and Patricia Malone (née Clark), a singer and actor.
During Howes’s six-decade career, she was nominated for a Tony award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical in 1963 for her performance in Brigadoon.
In 1958, Howes took over from Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle, the flower girl who becomes a lady, in the stage show of My Fair Lady.
Howes once said of the role: “Moss [Hart, the director] introduced me. He announced that ‘Julie Andrews will not be playing Eliza Doolittle,’ and there was this audible groan. The audience felt cheated and I immediately felt I had been thrown to the wolves. By the end of the performance, I had turned them.”
Five years later, in 1967, Howes began filming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, where she played the daughter of a confectionery magnate. She was cast in the part after Andrews had turned it down.
Howes pretended she knew how to dance to get the role, which required her to sing and dance in the song “Toot Sweets” and for the Doll on a Music Box set piece.