YBNBY Logo
ornate line
Where are they now: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Castle
Once again, we ask “Where Are They Now”, with a movie that was a Christmas Morning TV staple in England for many years - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

58509 Vandykedick
Dick Van Dyke - Caractacus Potts
Van Dyke's turn as Caractacus Potts in CCBB ranks alongside “Bert The Chimney Sweep” from Mary Poppins as one of his most famous film roles. Still working, most recently recognized from his TV show, Diagnosis Murder. Dick's voice will be heard in the upcoming animated version of Curious George starring Will Ferrell.

58518 Prev74
Sally Ann Howes - Truly Scrumptious
Surprisingly enough, CCBB may have been the death knell for Howe's movie career, typecasting her in a saccharine musical role just as that type of movie was falling out of favor. Since then, she has appeared almost exclusively on the stage, being seen as somewhat of a Grand Dame of British Theater (even though she now makes her home in New York. Fun trivia: Mattel produced a Truly Scrumptious Barbie Doll.

Grandpa 2
Lionel Jeffries - Grandpa Potts
It's a testament to Jeffries' character acting ability than although he played Caractacus Pott's father in the movie, he was actually seven months younger than Dick Van Dyke when filming took place. Jeffries continued to work in British TV & movies, playing a memorable role in The Railway Children, and lending his voice to the children's TV show, The Wombles. His last public acting appearance was back in 1998. Couldn't find anything even remotely close to a contemporary photograph, but he allegedly has gained a lot of weight in his latter years.

Jeremy Prev48
Adrian Hall - Jeremy
Had a couple of brief roles after CCBB, then completely dropped out of the limelight. Now working as a Drama Teacher in England.

Jemimah Prev16
Heather Ripley - Jemimah
Memories of CCBB are not completely happy ones for Ripley - she blames the extended shooting schedule, during which her mother chaperoned her as they were split from her father, as the main reason for her parent's subsequent divorce. In adulthood, Jemimah became a miltant “eco-warrior”, living in a makeshift protest camp outside the Faslane nuclear submarine base near Greenock in Scotland, where she was once arrested and jailed. These days, as a mother of two, she limits her peace protesting to weekends, and spends the rest of her time creating craft items out of driftwood that wash up near her home in Broughty Ferry, Scotland.

Gert Froebe1
Karl-Gerhart Fröber - Baron Bomburst

Fröber continued to work in his native Germany until a couple of years before his death in 1988 by heart attack, appearing in over 100 films. Yet it is for his portrayal as Auric Goldfinger, James Bond's nemesis and commander of Oddjob, that Fröber is best known. Throughout his career, Fröber attracted criticism for his wartime membership of the Nazi party, although it was later revealed that he had been involved in hiding jews from the Gestapo.

Chitty Mychittyquayle-1 annanow.jpg
Anna Quayle - Baroness Bomburst
My thanks go out to a couple of YBNBY readers who helped me fill in the gaps on Anna Quayle, who had been incredibly difficult to track down. Anna, 69, is currently living near Brighton, England. Her last recorded public appearance was in 2002, at the London opening of the CCBB show, from which the picture above right is taken (This was kindly provided by Bill Haldenby who runs the Anna Quayle Yahoo Movie Group.) Her last entry in the IMDB for acting is for a British TV show in 1986, and I found one more reference to a children's TV appearance in 1987, and I assume after that, she retired to a quiet life of chu-chi, woo-chi, ooo-chi, coo-chi days.

Childcatcher Toymaker-1 Benny150
Benny Hill - Toymaker
I probably don't need to tell you that Benny Hill died back in 1992. In my ten years living in the US, it's become obvious that Hill is to the Americans as Jerry Lewis is to the French. The son of a circus clown, Hill's role in CCBB is comparatively subdued when compared to the TV shenanigans that most people remember. Perhaps less well known except in England is the chart topper he recorded, Ernie (The Fastest milkman in the West), which was #1 on the British charts for most of December 1971. Hill died in his favorite armchair watching TV. And I can think of worse ways to go.

Child-Catcher04 27-1
Sir Robert Helpmann - The Child Catcher
Here's a simple fact. It's over 30 years since I first saw CCBB, and I'm a grown man with children. Yet Helpmann's amazing portrayal of The Child Catcher so terrified me when I was young that even now, on hearing his voice say “Children, come get your lollipops - all... free.... today...!” I literally shudder. I'd argue it's one of the most beautiful-scary portrayals of a bad guy in movie history. World-renowned as a ballet dancer and choreographer, Helpmann died in his native Australia in 1986.

Ccbb Ma1
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
A few models of the car were created for the movie, depending on the need for shots of it flying, driving or in the water, but there was only one version that was registered for roadworthiness with the plate GEN 11. That car is still in the ownership of Pierre Picton, who was responsible for maintaining it during filming. He still regularly shows it at charitable events, and it even appeared in a recent TV commercial for the British equivalent of the DMC.

Read more “Where Are They Now” features on YesButNoButYes.com

Share on Facebook StumbleUpon ToolbarStumble This    Submit to RedditReddit!

15 Comments

Great info re: chitty bang bang. You have a lot of it right with a few small exceptions. Anna Quayle is 69 not 79. She is alive and well living in Southern England (Brighton area). Her last known appearance was the opening of the London Broadway nersion of CCBB. For me it was alway the potrayal of Anna as Baroness Bomburst that I remembered. Partly because she looked so good..corsets, bows stocking etc...and the fact that her husband continually tried to rid himself of her..never could fiqure out a) why he would want a fantasic looking wife dead and b) What was this doing in a kids movie! :)

said ottawabill on August 29, 2005 11:47 AM.

Thanks for the note - you're right about her age, I made a mistake with my subtraction! Good to know Anna is still around, I agree about her portrayal of the Baroness - she definitely stirred some longings in my pre-teen loins. Now, if only I could find a recent photo of her...

said Scaramouch on August 29, 2005 12:15 PM.

Thanks to Bill Haldenby for providing a recent photo of Anna Quayle, which I've added to the story.

said Scaramouch on August 29, 2005 10:21 PM.

And the really stupid thing about the DVLA ad with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? The car's old enough that it'd be exempt from VED anyway... http://www.dvla.gov.uk/vehicles/exemptions.htm

said pointless trivia on September 5, 2005 6:31 PM.

Please where was the castle scene film? The castle is it a real castle and where is it located?
Thank you

said Gene on November 23, 2006 10:11 PM.

The castle is real, about an hour outside Prague if my memory serves........but i was very, very drunk.

said Goonz on November 24, 2006 10:49 AM.

fljhy nylsgjct rugomzj kjclt dbrvql kovigyha mhbegj

said qshl gyewkbds on January 13, 2007 11:09 PM.

fljhy nylsgjct rugomzj kjclt dbrvql kovigyha mhbegj

said qshl gyewkbds on January 13, 2007 11:09 PM.

fljhy nylsgjct rugomzj kjclt dbrvql kovigyha mhbegj

said qshl gyewkbds on January 13, 2007 11:10 PM.

His name is Gert Fröbe.

said MacRathgar on April 13, 2007 11:09 AM.

higuys!What yourblog powered by?

said aarst on May 11, 2007 1:45 AM.

higuys!What yourblog powered by?

said aarst on May 13, 2007 11:33 PM.

higuys!What yourblog powered by?

said aarst on May 14, 2007 12:43 AM.

Anna Quayle played school teacher "Mrs Monroe" in 85 episodes between 1990-1994 in UK kids program "Grange Hill" which has been running since 1978.

said cobra on August 3, 2008 10:37 AM.

As for the castle, it is Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, built by King Ludwig II, who died during its construction, leaving the interior finished only to the 2nd floor, as of the time I visited it in 1978.

said joe know on January 30, 2009 4:32 PM.
The
greatest
pop culture
blog on the
planet.
 
Or
maybe not.


rss feed Breakfast Links Feed

Recent Comments

What we can learn from Donna "Treasure Bombshell" Simpson?
Dear Treasure Bombshell If you don’t’ love yourself think of your daughter. W
teresacristinacunha

What we can learn from Donna "Treasure Bombshell" Simpson?
Dear Treasure Bombshell If you don’t’ love yourself think of your daughter. W
teresacristinacunha

Where the Streets have Sexual Names
Lets not leave out Climax, Saskatchewan :)
Heather

Where are they now? Serial Killers
another true fact on Jeffry Dahlmer, sick puppy he is ..one book at library sai
Marylou

Where Are They Now - The Griswold Kids
dana hill passed away now
Mike

Where Are They Now - The Griswold Kids
dana hill passed away now
Mike

Comments Feed

Special Features

Archives by Writer

New to YesButNoButYes?

YesButMailbag