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Where are the cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang now

54 years have passed since the iconic children’s film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang burst onto our screens, and it’s still a popular family classic even now.

Released in 1968, the film centers on a magical flying car, invented by Dick Van Dyke’s character, Caractacus Potts.


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was released over half a century ago, in 1968Credit: Rex Features

Potts, along with his two children and his romantic interest Truly Scrumptious, embark on a magical adventure in a land ruled by an evil baron who locks up children captured by the sinister Childcatcher.

The film is based on the novel by James Bond author Ian Fleming, and the screenplay was co-written by acclaimed author Roald Dahl.

Here, we take a look at what happened to the main cast, more than half a century after the film’s release.

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Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke was recently spotted in Los Angeles


Dick Van Dyke was recently spotted in Los AngelesCredit: Rex/Backgrid

Dick Van Dyke starred as inventor Caractacus Potts, and his memorable roles made him one of Hollywood’s most famous actors, with a career spanning seven decades.

The 96-year-old was already known for playing Bert the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins, but Chitty’s success cemented his legendary status.

Among his accolades, Dick has won a Grammy, a Tony and five Primetime Emmy Awards and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He has also appeared on the eponymous show The Dick Van Dyke, Night at the Museum, Curious George and Dick Tracy.

More recently he was spotted with his wife Arlene Silver, 50, and earlier this year they celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary.

In his autobiography, Van Dyke revealed that he repeatedly turned down the role of Potts and had to be bribed with a seven-figure sum. He added that he disliked the film, saying, “I know the film is loved by many but for me it lacked the magic of Mary Poppins, which its producer had hoped to emulate.”

Heather Ripley

Heather Ripley became an activist


Heather Ripley became an activistCredit: Rex/Getty

Heather was eight years old when she played pretty blonde Jemima Potts, but life was far from delightful after the film ended.

As a teenager, Heather ran away from her Dundee home after her parents separated, which she blamed on her worldwide fame.

“For a long time, I blamed the separation of my family on the film,” she later said.

“As an eight-year-old, it was a natural conclusion to draw, that it had to be the movie’s fault.

“But I’m now starting to realize that there are issues in my family that have nothing to do with the movie.”

After leaving home, she became an activist and lived in makeshift peace camps where she raised two children, daughter Josie and son Cosmo.

In 1984 she was arrested during a protest at the Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland after lying in the road to block traffic, but was released without charge after 15 hours in custody. seen.

She eventually settled in her hometown of Dundee, but in 1999 faced a legal battle with her family after her aunt and uncle tried to get her evicted from her grandmother’s house. .

Seven years later, she was arrested for driving without a license.

Now 63, she made a brief return to acting in 2020, voicing a character in a short animation titled Lavatory of Terror.

Sally Ann Howes

Sally Ann Howes really played


Sally Ann Howes really playedCredit: Alamy/Getty

Sally Ann played Truly Scrumptious, the daughter of a candy bar tycoon, and performed classic songs such as Toot Sweets and Hushabye Mountain and Doll On A Music Box, performed as she stretched out in a music box giantess.

She then told American TV show host and actress Rosie O’Donnell that she was proud to pull off the music box routine in one take, especially since she lied about being able to dance to get the part.

After her on-screen success in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, she returned to her first love, acting.

“I would have liked a film career, but I didn’t pursue it – I just loved connecting with an audience,” she once said.

“Theatre is a drug. The problem is that to remember, you have to make films.”

Sally Ann adopted the children of her first husband, Richard Adler, in 1964, but they divorced soon after.

She was married to literary agent Douglas Rae from 1972 until his death in September 2021.

The British star died in Palm Beach in December, aged 91.

Adrian room

Adrian Hall took up teaching acting


Adrian Hall took up teaching acting1 credit

Adrian Hall captured the hearts of the nation in his first on-screen role as Jeremy Potts.

He went to high school after finding fame in film, before going to drama school at 18.

But later he blamed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for his failure to land more roles.

He said, “I know it’s kept me from being considered for roles. People just think you’re a child actor.”

He eventually gave up acting to work as a teacher at the Guildford School of Drama.

Adrian, also 63, has two sons from his former dancer wife Barbara and was most recently director of the Academy of Performing and Recorded Arts in London, until 2021.

Robert Helpman

Helpmann was a famous ballet dancer who was awarded a knighthood


Helpmann was a famous ballet dancer who was awarded a knighthoodCredit: Rex/Getty

Before taking on the sinister role of Childcatcher, Australian-born Robert was already an award-winning ballet dancer, frequently associated with the legendary Margot Fonteyn.

He was principal dancer with Sadler’s Wells Ballet from 1933 to 1950 and became director of the Australian Ballet Company.

He was knighted in 1957.

During production of Chitty, Helpmann put his young co-stars at ease by making them laugh between takes, which meant they often struggled to keep a straight face when the cameras were rolling.

Longtime smoker Sir Robert died in 1986, aged 77, from emphysema.

He received the rare honor of having a state funeral in Sydney, Australia.

Lionel Jeffries

Jeffries was younger than his on-screen son Dick Van Dyke


Jeffries was younger than his on-screen son Dick Van Dyke1 credit

Despite playing Grandpa Potts, Professor Potts’ eccentric father, Lionel Jeffries was six months younger than Dick Van Dyke in real life.

Jeffries already had a string of hits behind him, including The Trial of Oscar Wilde and Two-Way Stretch, when he starred in the film.

He went on to write and direct children’s films, including the 1970 film The Railway Children.

Jeffries retired from acting in 2001, and his health declined in subsequent years. He died on 19 February 2010 at a nursing home in Poole Dorset aged 83. He suffered from vascular dementia for the last twelve years of his life.

He was married to Eileen Mary Walsh from 1951 until her death. They had a son and two daughters.

Gert Frobe

Frobe played the baron who hates children


Frobe played the baron who hates childrenCredit: Rex/Getty

German actor Frobe starred as the villainous Auric Goldfinger in the 1964 James Bond film, opposite Sean Connery, before starring as the comically child-hating Baron Bonburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

His other screen credits include Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines in 1965 and the 1969 classic Monte Carlo or Bust.

After finding fame, it was discovered that he had joined the Nazi Party at age 16, although he left in 1937, before World War II.

Israel temporarily banned Frobe’s films until Mario Blumenau, a Jewish survivor, revealed eight weeks later that his and his mother’s lives were likely saved when Frobe hid them from the Nazis.

He died at the age of 75, in 1988, following a heart attack.

Anna Quayle

British actress Anna went on to play television roles


British actress Anna went on to play television roles1 credit

The Birmingham-born actress played the role of Baroness Bomburst and enjoyed a successful acting career, starring in James and The Giant Peach and the children’s show Grub Street.

In 1982, she took on the role of a nun in the series Father Charlie and from 1990 to 1994 she played the role of teacher Miss Monroe in Grange Hill.

She died in 2019, aged 86, from dementia.

Barbara Windsor

British screen legend Babs starred


British screen legend Babs played ‘Blonde’ in the classic filmCredit: United/Getty

Although she had already starred in her first film Carry On four years prior, National Treasure Babs was simply credited as “Blonde” in the classic film.

Over a career spanning six decades, the bubbly, raspy-laughing Londoner starred in 12 Carry On Films, opposite comic legends Sid James, Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtry.

She then pulled pints in the Queen Vic, starring the formidable Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders from 1994 to 2016.

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She left the soap after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, becoming an activist for the sick in the last years of her life with her devoted husband Scott Mitchell.

Babs died in December 2020, aged 83.