The news was confirmed by Howes’ nephew who said on Twitter that his “beloved Aunty died peacefully in her sleep”:
I can also confirm the passing of my beloved Aunty #SallyAnnhowes who died peacefully in her sleep yesterday. 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. ❤️❤️
— tobyhowes (@tobybhowes) December 21, 2021
The British-American actress, whose career spanned six decades, was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical in 1963 for Brigadoon.
Howes was born in London on 20 July 1930 into a family of actors. Her career launched in 1943 with movie Thursday’s Child. She went on to sign contracts with UK studios Ealing and Rank before starring in a string of hit West End plays.
At the third time of offering she accepted the part of Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway production of My Fair Lady, replacing Julie Andrews.
Howes appeared in multiple U.S. series in the 1960s and was a guest on the Ed Sullivan Show four times. She was invited to sing for U.S. presidents Dwight. D Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon. B Johnson.
In the 1970s, she toured Britain with The King and I and later the U.S. with The Sound Of Music, and in 1990, she debuted her one-woman show, From This Moment On, at the Edinburgh Festival. Her last screen role was the 1992 miniseries Secrets.
Over the period September 2007 to January 2008, she toured the U.S. in the Cameron Mackintosh production of My Fair Lady, appearing as Mrs Higgins. When she was not performing, she was an artistic advisor for the Palm Beach Theatre Guild.
Howes married Tony-winning composer Richard Adler in 1958, and the pair adopted two sons. She re-married in 1972, remaining with literary agent Douglas Rae until his death in September 2021.
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