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Jill Haworth, Broadway’s Original Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Dies at Age 65


Jill Haworth, Broadway’s original Sally Bowles in Cabaret, died on January 3 at her New York City home. The 65-year-old actress was said by the police to have died of natural causes, according to The New York Times.

Born on August 15, 1945 in Sussex, England, Valerie Jill Haworth made her professional debut at 15 in Otto Preminger’s epic film Exodus. After appearing in several other movies directed by Preminger, Haworth beat out more than 200 young actresses for the lead role in Harold Prince’s 1966 Broadway premiere production of Cabaret. In spite of receiving less than stellar reviews for her performance and the divinely decadent Sally, Haworth remained with the show for nearly two years and was spoken of fondly after her death by Prince and co-star Joel Grey.

“They underestimated her,” Prince said of the critics in a January 4 interview with the Times. “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.” Added Grey, “[Haworth] had a wild abandon about herself and her life. She was so Sally Bowles"

After Cabaret, Haworth never appeared on Broadway again. In 1979, she appeared in two plays at off-Broadway’s American Place Theatre, Sam Shepard’s Seduced and Jonathan Reynolds’ Tunnel Fever, or the Sheep Is Out. She was a regular guest star on TV series in the 1970s, but logged only one screen credit in the past 20 years, a role in the 2001 independent film Mergers & Acquisitions.


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