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Jill Haworth Poster

Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 15 August 1945Sussex, England, UK
Date of Death 3 January 2011Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameValerie Jill Haworth
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A slim, stunning, stylish-looking actress, British Jill Haworth (born Valerie Jill Haworth on August 15, 1945 in Sussex) was a free-spirited product of the 1960s. Her father was a textile magnate and sometime race car driver and mother an aspiring ballerina. Trained in dance herself, she attended the Corona Stage School and appeared unbilled as a schoolgirl in a couple of movies before fame came knocking at her door.

The diminutive (5'2") Jill was discovered by ever-formidable director Otto Preminger after he happened upon her photo from her acting school. Looking for a new face to play the refugee role of Karen in his monumental Oscar-winning film Exodus (1960), Jill made a touching impression as Sal Mineo's ill-fated Jewish girlfriend. An impressed Preminger went on to cast the actress in two other of his other important epics that same decade -- The Cardinal (1963) and In Harm's Way (1965). Both, however, were received with much less fanfare.

At this juncture Jill had gained a sympathy vote in Hollywood as many of her ingénues seemed to meet untimely ends. Despite a dusky, untrained singing voice, the lovely blonde went to Broadway in 1966 and fashioned the role of the capricious Britisher Sally Bowles (played with a dark wig) in the musical "Cabaret," which co-starred Bert Convy as her naive American boyfriend and the irrepressible Joel Grey as the seedy Master of Ceremonies. The Kander/Ebb musical, which took place in decadent pre-Nazi Berlin, was based on Christopher Isherwood's popular "Berlin Stories". A huge hit, it won numerous Tony awards, including best musical of the 1966-67 season. Although Jill received mixed reviews, she played the role for two years.

Interestingly, it was veterans Lotte Lenya and Jack Gilford who received Tony nominations for their elderly roles in the production and not the young leads Haworth and Convy. Later on, while Grey was asked to recreate his magnetic Tony-winning part for the 1972 film Cabaret (1972)), Jill and Bert were snubbed again when the leads went to others. It should be noted that by the time Bob Fosse's screen version was ready to go, Jill's star had dimmed considerably. The movie was now geared as a showcase for the fast-rising Liza Minnelli. As such, the Bowles character was Americanized and her boyfriend, played now by Michael York, served as her British counterpart. Both Minnelli and Grey won well-deserved Oscars for their dazzling performances.

After the "Cabaret" success, things died down and Jill returned to England, relegated to a few horror films here and there, including It! (1967), Horror House (1969) and Horror on Snape Island (1972). She also appeared on several American TV series from time to time, including "Mission: Impossible," "The F.B.I.," "Baretta" and "Vega$". By the 1980s, however, Jill was pretty much out of sight.

In 2001 she appeared out of nowhere in a support role for the America film Mergers & Acquisitions (2001). She was living in New York and reportedly had just finished working on a voiceover YMCA spot in 2011 when she died suddenly in her Manhattan home of "natural causes" at age 65.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Trivia (5)

Linked romantically in the 60s for a number of years to her Exodus (1960) co-star Sal Mineo. She later blamed poor money management, not his homosexuality, for his downfall in Hollywood.
Jill passed away of natural causes. She was 65. She'd done a voice-over several days prior for the YMCA (NYC). [January 2011]
Her last name was actually pronounced "Hahworth" but the Americans simply couldn't get it right and she finally accepted it to being pronounced "Hayworth" in the States.
First film role was an unbilled part of a schoolgirl in the remake of The 39 Steps (1959).
Had an involved on-and-off-again romantic relationship for years with actor Sal Mineo, whom she met on the set of Exodus (1960) and was known to be homosexual.

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