Vanessa Howard (born Vanessa Tolhurst, 10 October 1948, Shoreham-by-Sea, United Kingdom-23 November 2010), later known as Vanessa Chartoff, was a British film actress and professional backup singer. Howard starred primarily in exploitation and horror films. She is perhaps best known for her starring roles in The Blood Beast Terror and Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly; the latter has since become a cult movie. The box-office failure of her later projects resulted in her decision to give up acting.Howard married film producer Robert Chartoff in July 1970; the pair divorced some time prior to 1992. Following her divorce, she worked with California programs dedicated to helping recently divorced homemakers reintegrate into the workforce, including the Mission Valley Regional Occupation Center in Fremont. She died in Los Angeles on 23 November 2010, of complications from COPD.Howards abrupt departure from cinema, coupled with her low public profile, led to years of speculation as to what had happened to her, including internet rumors that she had died shortly after her retirement. A retrospective on her life-- assembled by horror journalist Preston Fassel with the cooperation of her family and the assistance of UK blogger Richard Halfhide-- appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of the horror journal Screem, addressing multiple rumours about her life, career, and the time in between her retirement and death.
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