Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Jill Haworth: 1945-2011
“Sally Bowles was not supposed to be a professional singer. She wasn’t supposed to be so slick that you forgot she was an English girl somewhat off the rails in the Weimar era. When Jill came in and auditioned, she nailed it right away, walked that line. That’s what we wanted, and that’s what she delivered.”
I am reminded of an article I read about Christopher Isherwood, who wrote The Berlin Stories, on which Cabaret was based. He was opposed to Liza Minnelli being cast in the movie because she was too good. Someone who could sing and dance so well would never perform in such a seedy nightclub.
Miss Haworth made her film debut at 14 in Exodus with Paul Newman. She made five other films before landing the part in Cabaret. She played Sally Bowles for two years despite the bad reviews. Afterwards, her career spiraled downward. She made a few horror films and some TV appearances in the 70s.
She was born into a prominent family in Sussex, England and said that “Society looked down on me for becoming an actress, but I don’t miss society.” Joel Grey, her Cabaret co-star, had this to say:
“She was ‘let’s have a good time.’ She had a wild abandon about herself and her life. I understood why Hal chose her. She was so Sally Bowles.”