Val Lehman

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Val Lehman
Born Valerie Kathleen Willis
(1943-03-15) 15 March 1943 (age 71)
Perth, Western Australia
Occupation Actress (Silver Logie Award Recipient)
Years active 1967 – 2014
Spouse(s) Charles Collins (10 June 1989–2005) divorced
Children Cassandra, Joanne and Jason Lehman

Valerie Kathleen Lehman (née Willis) (born 15 March 1943) known as Val Lehman is a Silver Logie winning Australian actress and director, best known for her role as powerful, cunning and sadistic top dog Queen Bea (Bea Smith) in the Australian TV series Prisoner (aka Prisoner: Cell Block H). She played the role for over four years before leaving the series in the 400th episode in 1983. Lehman received three Logies for her performance - (Best Lead Actress in a Series) and (Most Popular Actress) in 1982 and (Best Lead Actress in a Series) in 1983. She was twice nominated for the Gold Logie Her real life daughter, Cassandra Lehman portrayed Bea Smith's drug-addicted daughter, Debbie. Her other daughter, Joanne also briefly appeared in Prisoner, during the first year of the series.

Television Roles[edit]

Lehman has appeared in many other Australian television productions, mostly in guest roles. Prior to Prisoner she acted in the television series Bellbird and Tandarra. After Prisoner she appeared in The Flying Doctors, Army Wives, Something in the Air, Blue Heelers, All Saints and City Homicide.

Lehman lived in Ipswich, Suffolk, England for much of the 1990s after being initially invited to the UK for personal appearances by the Prisoner: Cell Block H fan club.



Title Year Role Notes
Bellbird 1967 Guest role; unknown episodes
Homicide 1972 Nurse Episode "There Are More Things in Heaven and Earth"
Tandarra 1976 Dinner Guest Season 1, episode 1 "Pilot"
Power Without Glory Unknown episodes
Outbreak of Love 1981 Mrs. Montaubyn ABC mini-series
Prisoner 1979–83 Bea Smith Main role; seasons 1–5; 376 episodes
Logie Award for Most Popular Actress (1982)
Logie Award for Best Lead Actress in a Series (1982)
Logie Award for Best Lead Actress in a Series (1983)
Also appeared in Prisoner in Concert (1981 performer & writer)
Appeared in Prisoner behind-the-scenes special The Great Escape (1990 video special)
Internationally re-titled as Prisoner: Cell Block H
A Fortunate Life 1985 Bert's Mother Nine Network mini-series
Episode 3 "Journey (1980-1914)"
The Flying Doctors 1986 Val Bates Season 1, episode 21 "Fearless Frank"
Law of the Land 1994 Fran Weber Season 3, episode 12 "Line of Duty"
Wilderness 1996 Vet Mini-series
Good Guys, Bad Guys 1998 Rose Kinsella Season 2, episode 9 "100% Proof"
Blue Heelers Bonnie Crossing Season 5, episode 15 "A Bit of a Biff"
Pizza 2000 Bea Smith Season 1, episode 9 "Gambling Pizza"
Blue Heelers 2001 Ivy Henderson Season 8, episode 7 "The Fine Print"
Something in the Air 2000–02 Joyce Cassidy Season 1, episode 91 "Extenuating Circumstances"
Season 1, episode 92 "Lust & Consequence"
Season 3, episode 37 "Every Baby Needs a Da-Da-Daddy"
Season 3, episode 38 "Playing the Game"
Season 3, episode 40 "Take Your Pride and Swallow"
MDA 2002 Rita O'Reilly Season 1, episode 10 "Quid Pro Quo"
All Saints 2009 Maggie Brooks Season 12, episode 17 "Bodies in Motion"
City Homicide 2010 Dorothy Denzel Season 4, episode 2 "Good Cop/Bad Cop"
The Strange Calls" 2012 Elaine Season 1, episode 4 "Napoleon"
Secrets & Lies 2014 Patricia Season 1, episode 4


Title Year Role Notes
Kitty and the Bagman 1983 Big Lil Prisoner cast members Colette Mann, Gerard Maguire and Kylie Foster also appear
Charlie & Boots 2009 Bowls Lady With Paul Hogan and Shane Jacobson

Television film[edit]

Title Year Role Notes
The Dolebludgers 1979 Mrs. Price ABC television film
I Live with Me Dad 1985 Marge Nine Network television film
Army Wives 1987 Jill's Mother Network Ten television film
Secret Bridesmaids' Business 2002 Colleen ABC television film

Short film[edit]

Title Year Role Notes
The Idyll 1977 10 minutes
Smitten 2008 Violet 7 minutes
Lapse Rose 11 minutes

Val Lehman Website[edit]