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Sally Ann Howes (1930–2021), “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” star

by Linnea Crowther

Sally Ann Howes was a British actress best known for starring as Truly Scrumptious in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Acting career

Howes began acting as a child and had her first movie roles in her teens, in films including “Dead of Night,” “Nicholas Nickelby,” and “Anna Karenina.” She frequently appeared onstage in musical theatre, appearing in “Paint Your Wagon” on London’s West End before starring on Broadway in “My Fair Lady” after Julie Andrews stepped away from the role she originated. But it was in 1968 that audiences got to know Howes in her most famous role as she played candy heiress Truly Scrumptious in the children’s classic “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Later, she made occasional guest appearances on TV shows including “Sesame Street” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” but her focus was on theatrical work. She starred in touring productions of “The King and I” and “The Sound of Music,” as well as taking roles in productions including “Hamlet,” “A Little Night Music,” and “Cinderella.”

Howes on filming “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”

“I had a wonderful time on it, and Dick is, of course, a joy to work with. We did a celebration [of the film a few years ago], a documentary for TV. They flew me out to California, and we got together and shrieked about all of the various things that we had to go through. But it was a very long shooting. It took a very, very long time. That was the only tedious thing that I can remember, but the rest of it was a joy.” —from a 2007 interview for Playbill


Tributes to Sally Ann Howes

Full obituary: The New York Times

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