Leda (Valerie Leon) gets a lecherous look
from Bill Boosey (Sid James) in
Although her film appearances dried up in the 1970s, she continued a succesful stage career, including pantomine, and now promotes the arts through her company, 'Valerie Leon Promotions'.
Valerie Leon was born in London in 1945, daughter of the director of a textile company father and a RADA-trained actress mother.
I first met Valerie Leon at the Birmingham NEC in November 2004 when she signed my Carry On book. I met her again in September 2006 at Starcon, held at the Kempton Park Racecourse. She signed my Carry On poster, and then posed with me for this lovely photograph.
Valerie found work in television, where her height (she is 6' tall) made her an ideal foil for small comedians like Charlie Drake, Norman Wisdom and Ronnie Corbett.
However, it was for a series of TV commercials that Valerie Leon became famous in the 1970s, when the various adverts for the men's aftershave, Hai Karate, were regularly shown.
TV and film work followed. Valerie appeared with two James Bonds - as the hotel receptionist with Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and as a girl in the Bahamas with Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again (1983).
Before the Bond films, she had played another hotel receptionist in The Italian Job (1969), and a leather-clad alien in Zeta One (1969). During the early 1970s, Valerie was seen in several TV series - Randall and Hopkirk Deceased (1969), Up Pompeii (1970) and The Persuaders (1971).
In 1971, she starred in the gory Hammer Horror film Blood From the Mummy's Tomb in which she not only plays the part of Margaret, Professor Fuchs' voluptuous daughter, but also the evil Egyptian Queen, Tera.
It was then widely thought that the stunning Valerie would make her way in the film world, but only small, supporting roles came her way - as Susan in No Sex Please, We're British (1973), and Miss Hampton in Can You Keep It Up For A Week? (1974).
Valerie Leon has appeared in no less than six 'Carry On' films - as an uncredited harem girl in Carry On Up the Khyber (1968); as shop assistant Miss Dobbin in Carry On Camping (1969); as sex-starved secretay Deidre in Carry On Again Doctor (1969); as Leda in Carry On Up The Jungle (1970); as Jane Darling giving birth to triplets in Carry On Matron (1972) and as Paula Perkins, turned from a frump to a beauty queen, in Carry On Girls (1973).
After she left Channing, the private school where she was educated, Valerie became a trainee fashion buyer at the top London department store, Harrods. She had been fascinated by the stage, from a very early age, and successfully auditioned for a part in the chorus of Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand. Later, she went on tour with a Brian Rix farce.
Valerie Leon on stage with Charlie Drake
Valerie Leon with Ronnie Corbett in
No Sex Please We're British
Carry On Up The Jungle
Blood From The Mummy's Tomb
Valerie Leon as Margaret Fuchs in
Valerie Leon as Queen Tera
Never Say Never Again
Valerie Leon as the Bahamas Girl in
Valerie Leon now has her own Official Website where you can find out lots more about her, and keep up to date with her appearances (see the link below).
Valerie was married to Michael Mills (Head of Comedy at the BBC) until his death in 1986.
Valerie Leon with Roger Moore in
The Spy Who Loved Me
Valerie as the Space Queen
in The Persuaders
Valerie Leon in a publicity shot for
Carry On Girls
Blood From The Mummy's Tomb
Valerie Leon publicity shot for
Valerie Leon with the car, VL 1, that she
Valerie Leon with my 'Carry On' book
that she had just signed
had for 15 years
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