Valerie Leon

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Valerie Leon
Born (1943-11-12) 12 November 1943 (age 75)
Hampstead, London, England, UK
Years active1967–present
Spouse(s)Michael Mills (1974–1988, his death)

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

Early life[edit]

Leon's father was a director of a textile company, and her mother, who trained at RADA, ended her acting career to become a full-time mother. Valerie is the eldest of four privately educated children.


Leon's career started as a trainee fashion buyer at Harrods. One day, Leon went to an audition which led her to her become a chorus girl. Leon appeared with Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London's West End.

Leon appeared in several of the Carry On films and has been a Bond girl twice: in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and 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, 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.

Leon also appeared in The Saint, Randall and Hopkirk, Up Pompeii!, The Avengers, Space: 1999, The Persuaders, Last of the Summer Wine,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] Merope is a journalist on The Guardian newspaper[2] and currently West Coast of America editor.[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". Valerie Leon. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  2. ^ Mills, Merope (19 February 2001). "That's my girl". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Merope Mills". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2016.

External links[edit]