‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ Actress Sally Ann Howes Dies At 91

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Actress Sally Ann Howes has passed away at the age of 91. Although she is best known for portraying Truly Scrumptious alongside Dick Van Dyke in the 1968 film, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” her acting career spanned six decades and consisted of around 140 roles.

On Dec. 19, the English-born actress died at a hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. She was a longtime resident of nearby West Palm Beach.

Author and film critic Susan Granger shared the news of her friend’s passing along with a clip of Howes on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” in 1998.

“My dear friend Sally Ann Howes (“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” [sic] passed,” Granger tweeted.

 

“I can also confirm the passing of my beloved Aunty #SallyAnnhowes who died peacefully in her sleep yesterday,” Howes’ nephew Toby Howes replied to the tweet. “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.”

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Howes was born in London on July 20, 1930, into a theatrical family. Her parents Bobby Howes and Patricia Malone were both actors and singers, and her grandfather was a theatrical director of musicals. She made her film debut at age 13 when she starred in the 1943 movie “Thursday’s Child.”

She became a household name when she replaced Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway production of “My Fair Lady.”

She was briefly married to actor Maxwell Coker. A few years after their divorce, Howes wed Tony-winning composer Richard Adler, with whom she adopted two sons, Christopher and Andrew. However, the marriage only lasted eight years.

In 1973, she married her third husband, British literary agent Douglas Rae. The couple remained married for 48 years until Rae passed away in September. Howes is also predeceased by her son Christopher, a songwriter, who died in 1984.  She is survived by her son Andrew.