Sally Ann Howes (born 20 July 1930) is a British actress and singer, who currently holds dual British-American citizenship. Her career on stage, screen and television has spanned over six decades. She is best remembered for the role of Truly Scrumptious in the 1968 musical film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Howes was born in St John's Wood, London, the daughter of British comedian/actor/singer/variety star Bobby Howes (1895–1972) and actress/singer Patricia Malone (1899–1971). She is the granddaughter of Capt. J.A.E. Malone (died 1928), London theatrical director of musicals, and she has an older brother, Peter Howes, a retired professional musician and music professor. Her great-grandfather, Joseph Malone, was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1854 during the Crimean War. Her uncle, Pat Malone, was an actor on stage, films, and television.
Howes moved to the family's country house in Essendon, Hertfordshire for the duration of World War II. She was a show-business baby who lived a quiet, orderly childhood where she grew up with a nanny and was surrounded by a variety of pets and her parents' theatrical peers, including actor/writer Jack Hulbert and his wife, actress Cicely Courtneidge, who had an adjoining house. Her first taste of the stage was school productions, but as she came from a theatrical family, it was inevitable that another family friend, an agent who was visiting the Howes family for dinner, became impressed with her and not long after suggested the young Sally Ann for a role in a movie. Two hundred young girls had already been screen tested without success, and the producers were desperate to find a talented little girl to play the lead, and they asked her father to please rush in some pictures on the recommendation of the agent. The movie, Thursday's Child, was written by playwright and screenwriter Rodney Ackland, also a close neighbor to the Howes family, and it would become Ackland's directorial debut. Thursday's Child (1943) launched her career. A second film, The Halfway House (1944), led to her being put under contract by Michael Balcon of Ealing Studios, and this was followed by many other film roles as a child actress including Dead of Night (1945) with Sir Michael Redgrave, Pink String and Sealing Wax (1946), Nicholas Nickleby (1947), My Sister and I (1948) and Anna Karenina (1948), with Vivien Leigh.