Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actress Sally Ann Howes dies aged 91
- Credit: PA
Sally Ann Howes, who starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, has died aged 91.
The actress, who starred as Truly Scrumptious in the 1968 musical film, was born in St John's Wood on July 20, 1930 and died on December 19.
She was the daughter of actress-singer Patricia Malone and British entertainer Bobby Howes.
Sally Ann adopted Andrew Hart Adler and his brother Christopher when she was married to their father, lyricist Richard Adler, and the artist said they had an “immediate connection”.
“There are so many memories, it’s hard to single out just one," Andrew told PA news agency.
“Her life was no more complicated than anyone’s else, but my brother and my lives were.
“From the first time that I met her, when I was five, there was an immediate connection. We called her our summer mother – much to the chagrin of my mother.
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“When my mother died after a two-year illness when I was just turned 11, and Christopher nine, it was Sally Ann’s idea to adopt us legally.
“She always took her role as mother seriously and naturally."
He said following his parent's divorce, nothing changed in their relationship with her, "other than she moved to LA for work".
“We saw her regularly on holidays and she also came often to New York. She was always there for us.
“She was always also very present for my children, Demian and Scarlett, and was entirely their grandmother.
“As such, she was a very direct person. Not sentimental but very conscious and reflective. I shall miss her guidance.”
Andrew shared a photograph on Instagram of himself with Howes in 1967, saying she has now been reunited with her husband Douglas Rae, to whom she was married for 48 years and who died earlier this year.
The singer and actress was noted for her performances in the West End and Broadway during a career that spanned decades.
She replaced Dame Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle in the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady in 1958.
She was also featured on the cover of US magazine Life in March that year.
In 1963 she was nominated for a Tony Award for best lead actress in a musical for her performance in Brigadoon.
From September 2007 to January 2008 she returned to My Fair Lady, performing in a US tour of the show, produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, appearing as Mrs Higgins.