8. Sally Ann Howes
Born on July 20, 1930, in St John’s Wood, London, Howes came from a theatrical family. Her father was the British comedian/actor/singer/variety star Bobby Howes and her mother was the actress/singer Patricia Malone. She would start her career early when she first appeared on screen aged 12 in the 1943 film ‘Thursday’s Child.’ While still in her teens, she would star in her first West End musical-comedy, ‘Fancy Free’. By the time she was 18, she had signed a seven-year contract with the Rank Organisation.
In 1958, Howes was asked three times to replace Julie Andrews Eliza Doolittle part in the Broadway production of ‘My Fair Lady’ before eventually accepting the role that would make her a star. Although she returned to Broadway in 1961 in the short run of Kwamina, it would be her starring role in the 1962’s Brigadoon that would see her win nominated for a Tony Award for best lead actress in a musical. Enjoying a career that spanned six decades, she would be fondly remembered as Truly Scrumptious in the 1968 musical film ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,’ opposite Dick Van Dyke. Howes died in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on December 19, 2021, aged 91.