One of the most enduring, glamorous icons of Carry On celebrates her birthday today. The still gorgeous Valerie Leon was born on this day in 1943. Happy Birthday Valerie!
Valerie is a frequent attendee at fan film conventions and continues to enjoy mass appeal due to her special connection with the three most popular and successful film franchises in British cinema history. She not only starred in six Carry Ons, but also two Bond films (opposite Sir Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me and Sean Connery in the unofficial Bond, Never Say Never Again) and also took a lead role in the Hammer Horror classic, Blood From The Mummy's Tomb.
Valerie provided some fantastic 1970s glamour to several Carry Ons. After making a brief appearance in Up The Khyber in 1968, she was given a couple of memorable scenes to play in the Camping shop in Carry On Camping, working with Charles Hawtrey, Bernard Bresslaw and Sid James. Valerie would make two further appearances the following year, first of all as Dr Nookey's secretary Deirdre in Again Doctor and later as Leda in Up The Jungle.
Two further Carry On appearances followed - as Jane Darling in Matron in 1971 and finally as Paula Potter in 1973's Carry On Girls. My favourite of all Valerie's roles in the Carry Ons was probably In Jungle - I just can't imagine anybody else playing that part!
Away from the Carry Ons, Valerie appeared in many other films, including The Italian Job, No Sex Please We're British, The Ups and Downs of a Handyman and the infamous Zeta One (a soft porn/comedy/sci-fi romp co-starring Charles Hawtrey and James Robertson Justice!). Moving on...
Valerie is still proud of her Carry On connection, appearing regularly in documentaries, in the press and at conventions. It's always lovely to hear from her. These days she also tours the country with a series of illustrated talks on her fascinating career. You can find out more about these by visiting her website
Whatever Valerie is up to today, I would like to wish her a very happy birthday!
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