AF­TER 50 YEARS, WHAT HAP­PENED TO THE CAST...

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News -

1. BENNY HILL - ‘THE TOY­MAKER’

His cameo role in Chitty came af­ter he had al­ready found suc­cess with The Benny Hill Show. As The Toy­maker, he stood by help­lessly as The Child Catcher raided his work­shop. Hill, who died in Mid­dle­sex, Eng­land, in 1992, had be­come a huge star on US TV and had a hit record in 1971 with Ernie (The Fastest Milk­man In The West). He never mar­ried or had chil­dren.

2. DICK VAN DYKE – ‘CAR­AC­TA­CUS POTTS’

De­spite be­ing cel­e­brated for his moves in Mary Pop­pins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Van Dyke did not start danc­ing un­til he was in his thir­ties. He strug­gled with al­co­holism and fi­nances through­out his ca­reer. But his for­tunes turned af­ter his per­for­mance as the dis­trict at­tor­ney in Dick Tracy (1990). In a cameo role in the new Mary Pop­pins se­quel, he reprises his tap-danc­ing skills – and his du­bi­ous Cock­ney ac­cent.

3. HEATHER RI­P­LEY – ‘JEMIMA POTTS’

Born in Dundee to a wardrobe mis­tress mother, she was around the theatre from an early age. How­ever, Chitty was her only ma­jor act­ing role. Af­ter her par­ents’ divorce, she moved to Ire­land with her mother, re­turn­ing to Dundee at 14. But two years later she ran away, blam­ing the film for rob­bing her of a nor­mal life. She did odd jobs and be­came an en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tester. A mother of two, she is now a mas­sage prac­ti­tioner.

4. LIONEL JEF­FRIES – ‘GRANDPA POTTS’

Fol­low­ing his beloved role in Chitty, he be­came a direc­tor. In 1970 he wrote and di­rected the film adap­ta­tion of the clas­sic novel The Rail­way Chil­dren. He died in 2010 at the age of 83.

5. ADRIAN HALL – ‘JEREMY POTTS’

Now 59, he was plucked from his Sat­ur­day morn­ing stage school to play Jemima’s brother Jeremy. Af­ter Chitty, he failed to land var­i­ous roles and took his most fa­mous act­ing credit off his CV. Af­ter a moder­ately suc­cess­ful ca­reer in West End theatre, he be­came a drama teacher.

6. SALLY ANN HOWES – ‘TRULY SCRUMP­TIOUS’

Born in Lon­don, her first star­ring role was on stage in Glas­gow, aged 20. As Truly Scrump­tious, Ms Howes, by then 38, was adored by chil­dren and adults alike but her film roles be­came spo­radic. A fre­quent guest on TV game shows in the 1960s, she even­tu­ally re­turned to theatre. Now 88, she lives in New York.

7. ROBERT HELP­MANN – ‘THE CHILD CATCHER’

Known as ‘Sir Bobby’, Help­mann was a worl­drenowned bal­let dancer who had starred along­side Mar­got Fonteyn, Vivien Leigh and Moira Shearer. His glit­ter­ing ca­reer in­cluded be­ing made CBE and KBE. A long-time smoker, The Child Catcher, left, died in 1986, aged 77.

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