Showing posts from June, 2013

In Search of Vanessa Howard

About eight years ago I picked up a copy of a film called ‘MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY AND GIRLY’ (1970), a curious horror comedy about a dysfunctional family with a penchant for macabre games. Although she didn’t receive top billing it was the pretty, vivacious young actress playing the eponymous Girly who really made the piece. Her name was Vanessa Howard and she had the aura of a star. Howard was born in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, on 10th October 1948. Originally named Vanessa Tolhurst she was orphaned by the age of three and she and her older sister were raised by adoptive parents . Both girls were keen performers and for a time Vanessa attended the Phildene Stage School in London. According to later press sources this led her screen debut in Judy Garland's last picture, I COULD GO ON SINGING (1963), although I've never been able to conclusively identify her in the released version. Leaving school at fifteen she declined the opportunity to join her sister at the Guildhall