English thesp Jill Haworth, who played Sally Bowles in the original production of “Cabaret” on Broadway, died Jan. 3 in Manhattan of natural causes. She was 65.
The slim and stunning Haworth (pronounced “HAH-worth”) originated the classic “Don’t Tell Mama” when she played the English expat singer in Weimar-era Germany in the Kander & Ebb tuner in 1966. (When the musical was adapted for the bigscreen, Liza Minnelli played the role.)
The reviews of Haworth were not kind. “The British actress needs more vocal pep to do justice to the strong title song, her big number,” Variety said in its review of the Boston tryout. Of the Broadway staging Variety said, “Jill Haworth sings adequately as the young heroine, Sally Bowles, but overplays relentlessly and appears such a ninny that it’s hard to believe the novelist would fall for her.”
Haworth was just a teenager when Otto Preminger tapped her as Sal Mineo’s g.f. in 1960’s “Exodus.” She also appeared in two more big-budget Preminger films: 1963’s “The Cardinal” and 1965’s “In Harm’s Way.”
She got better notices for “Exodus.” “This young lady has a haunting personality and given the benefit of experience should become a star. At present she often is guilty of over-projecting, a weakness Preminger should have controlled,” Variety said in its review.
In the late ’60s she was featured in horror pics including “It,” “Horror House” and “Tower of Evil.”
Haworth didn’t appear on the Rialto after “Cabaret” but did perform Off Broadway in Sam Shepard’s “Seduced” and Jonathan Reynolds’ “Tunnel Fever, or the Sheep Is Out.”
She turned to TV in later years with parts in “The Rogues” with David Niven, Charles Boyer and Gig Young; “12 O’Clock High”; “Mission: Impossible”; and “Baretta.” She also did voiceover work, including in 1988’s “Gandahar.”