Valerie Leon

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Valerie Leon
Born (1943-11-12) 12 November 1943 (age 71)
Hampstead, London, England, UK
Occupation Actress
Years active 1967–present
Spouse(s) Michael Mills (1974–1988, his death)
Children 2

Valerie Leon (born 12 November 1943) is an English actress who had roles in a number of high-profile British film franchises, including the Carry On series.

Early life[edit]

Her father was a director of a textile company, and her mother, who trained at RADA, ended her acting career in order to become a full-time mother. She is the eldest of four privately educated children. After leaving school, she became a trainee fashion buyer at Harrods, before playing truant one day to go to an audition which led to her becoming a chorus girl, and then appearing with Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl at The Prince of Wales Theatre in London.

Film appearances[edit]

Leon appeared in several of the Carry On films and has been a Bond girl twice: in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and the "non-official" Never Say Never Again (1983). Other supporting appearances include Revenge of the Pink Panther, The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (as the secretary Tanya), a hotel receptionist in The Italian Job, and a callgirl in No Sex Please, We're British, alongside fellow Carry On actress Margaret Nolan. The 1971 Hammer horror film Blood from the Mummy's Tomb offered Leon a rare lead role, as a reincarnated Egyptian queen.


On television, Leon is probably best remembered for her part as a tall buxom woman driven wild by a small and puny man wearing Hai Karate aftershave, in a series of commercials for the product. She also appeared in The Saint, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Up Pompeii!, The Avengers, Space: 1999, The Persuaders, and in The Goodies comedy episode "It Might as Well Be String".

Personal life[edit]

Leon was married to the television comedy producer, Michael Mills from 1974 until his death in 1988. The marriage produced two children, a boy, Leon, born in 1975 and a girl, Merope, born in 1977,[1] who is a journalist on The Guardian newspaper[2] and currently editor of the Weekend supplement.[3]

Appearances in reference works[edit]

  • Paul, Louis (2008). "Valerie Leon". Tales From the Cult Film Trenches; Interviews with 36 Actors from Horror, Science Fiction and Exploitation Cinema. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 164–171. ISBN 978-0-7864-2994-3. 



  1. ^ Official website, including biography and showreel
  2. ^ Merope Mills "That's my girl", The Guardian, 19 February 2001
  3. ^ Merope Mills, Guardian contributor page

External links[edit]