Valerie Hobson

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Valerie Hobson
Valerie Hobson in Bride of Frankenstein film trailer.jpg
from the trailer for
Bride of Frankenstein
Born Babette Valerie Louise Hobson
(1917-04-14)14 April 1917
Larne, County Antrim, Ireland, UK
Died 13 November 1998(1998-11-13) (aged 81)
Westminster, London, England, UK
Years active 1932–1954
Spouse(s) Anthony Havelock-Allan (1939–1952) (divorced)
John Profumo (1954–1998) (her death)

Valerie Hobson (14 April 1917 – 13 November 1998[1]) was a British actress who appeared in a number of British films during the 1940s and 1950s. She was born Babette Valerie Louise Hobson in Larne, County Antrim, Ireland, UK. Her second husband was a Government Minister, John Profumo, who was the subject of a sensational sex scandal in 1963.

Life and career[edit]

She appeared as Baroness Frankenstein in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) with Boris Karloff and Colin Clive, taking over the role from Mae Clarke, who had played it in the original Frankenstein (1931). Hobson also played opposite Henry Hull that same year in Werewolf of London, the first Hollywood werewolf film, predating The Wolf Man by six years.

The latter half of the 1940s saw Hobson in perhaps her two most memorable roles: as the adult Estella in David Lean's 1946 adaptation of Great Expectations, and as the refined and virtuous Edith D'Ascoyne in the 1949 black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets.

In 1952 she divorced her first husband, the film producer Sir Anthony Havelock-Allan (1904–2003), and married John Profumo (1915–2006), an MP, in 1954, giving up acting shortly afterwards.

Valerie Hobson's last starring role was in the original London production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical play The King and I which opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on 8 October 1953. She played Mrs. Anna Leonowens opposite Herbert Lom's King. The show ran for 926 performances.[2]

After Profumo's ministerial career ended in disgrace in 1963, following revelations he had lied to the House of Commons about his affair with Christine Keeler, she stood by him, and they worked together for charity for the remainder of her life, though she did miss their more public life.[3]

Hobson's eldest son, Simon Anthony Clerveaux Havelock-Allan, was born in May 1944 with Down syndrome. Her middle child, Mark Havelock-Allan, was born on 4 April 1951 and became a judge. Her youngest child is the author David Profumo (b. 16 October 1955), who wrote Bringing the House Down: A Family Memoir (2006) about the scandal. In it he writes his parents told him nothing of the scandal and that he learned of it from another boy at school.[4]

After her death, Valerie Hobson's body was cremated in accordance with her wishes, with half her ashes to be interred in the family vault in Hersham. The rest was scattered on 1 January 1999 by her sons David Profumo and Mark Havelock-Allan near the family's farm in Scotland.[5]

Hobson is portrayed by Joanna Riding in Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical Stephen Ward the Musical, which opened at the Aldwych Theatre on 19 December 2013.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: NOV 1998 D42C 217 WESTMINSTER – Babette Valerie L Profumo, DoB = 14 Apr 1917, aged 81
  2. ^ Stanley Green, Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre, (New York, 1976: Dodd, Mead & Company, rpt. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 1980), p. 233.
  3. ^ Grice, Elizabeth (2 September 2006). "Son breaks family's 40-year silence on scandal of the Profumo Affair". The Telegraph (London). 
  4. ^ "Dingy Quadrilaterals". London Review of Books. 19 October 2006. 
  5. ^ Profumo, David (4 September 2006). "Even if the heart bleeds almost to death, passionate love is worth it". The Daily Telegraph (London). 

External links[edit]