Valerie Leon has left her film career behind but will Carry On talking to her fans

By Candice Krieger, March 12, 2009

Bond girl and star of six Carry On films, Valerie Leon was a 70s icon. Three decades on, the glamorous actress is entertaining us again — this time on stage.

Next week, Ms Leon will be talking about her life and showbiz career at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans, Hertfordshire. She will reveal what it was like working with television and film legends including Sir Roger Moore (The Spy Who Loved Me), Sir Sean Connery (Never Say Never), Sir Michael Caine (The Italian Job) and Peter Sellers (The Revenge of the Pink Panther).

“I have never had to fill a whole theatre before,” Ms Leon tells People. “I think I’ve been incredibly lucky, having been associated with two Bond films and the Carry On films. It’s extraordinary.

“The Carry On films bought me a new generation of fans because they are always being repeated on TV. There’s a lot of nostalgia for 1970s films that don’t have the violence that films today do.”

She says that while working on The Italian Job, Michael Caine encouraged her to try her luck in Hollywood — a suggestion she regretfully never pursued. Nonetheless, she acknowledges she has been fortunate working with some of the UK’s top comedians, including Frankie Howerd, Charlie Drake and Ronnie Barker. Comedy took a back seat in the early 1970s when she landed a leading role in Hammer Horror movie Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb. Then there were two Bond films and trips to Sardinia and the Bahamas. So what’s been the highlight? “I guess getting a Bond film. I told the producer that I wanted to be in his film and didn’t want to get killed off.

“The impact of being a Bond girl is extraordinary. You are known as a Bond girl in every part of the world.” She says she still gets fan mail.

The talk will take place on Thursday March 19 at the Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans, Herts, at 8pm. Box Office: 01727 844222

Valerie Leons Carry On will also take place at the Chateaux Relais Hotel, Gravetye Manor in East Grinstead on Saturday, March 21st Details 01342 810567

Last updated: 10:38am, March 16 2009