Chitty Chitty Bang Bang legend Sally Ann Howes dies as tributes pour in

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang icon Sally Ann Howes has died aged 91.

The cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

The actress, who was best known for playing Truly Scrumptious in the 1968 musical film, passed away on December 19.

Her film and theatre spanned an impressive six decades, earning a Tony nomination for best lead actress in a musical for her performance in Brigadoon in 1963.

She also replaced Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady on Broadway, shooting her into stardom.

But the role she has eventually become known for was the sweet Truly Scrumptious in children's film Truly Scrumptious, the aristocratic daughter of a confectionery magnate, starring alongside Dick van Dyke.

Howes was only paid £44,939k (£836,710 in 2021) for the role, whereas Dick Van Dyke's fee was £615,425 (£11,458,472).

Despite Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's success, the film didn't relaunch her film career and she focused mainly on theatre roles, including What Makes Sammy Run?, The King and I, and Cinderella.

She previously told the Palm Beach Post: "I would have liked a film career, but I didn't pursue it – I just loved connecting with an audience.

"The theatre is a drug. The problem is that to be remembered, you have to do films."

Howes married composter Richard Adler in 1958 and adopted his two sons after their mother died, but went on to split.

She also briefly married Andrew Maree before wedding literary agent Douglas Rae in 1973.

They were married for 48 years before Rae's death in September this year.

Tributes for Howes have come pouring in following the sad news, with one fan writing: "RIP to a beautiful person sally ann howes, who passed away last night, you will be missed.

"And You’ll never been forgotten. Our hearts beat so unruly, because we love you Truly… honest Truly we do."

Another added: "So sad to hear that Sally Ann Howes (Truly Scrumptious in 1 of my favourite films Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) has passed away. Thankyou for the memories & may you RIP."

A third said: "RIP Sally Ann Howes. Brilliant stage actress but there will always be a fond place in my heart for Truly Scrumptious."

A fourth agreed: "Sad news. The music box scene from Chitty is fantastic and done in one take I believe. Thank you Sally Ann Howes."

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