The Mummy reboot officially hits theaters nationwide today. With that in mind, I wanted to do this edition of Where Are They Now in dedication to an actor or actress that appeared in a mummy movie of the past. Unfortunately, a lot of performers have passed away or simply vanished, but I found one actress that’s had a wild ride in the industry. Her contributions to the genre of comedy might be bigger than her contributions to horror films, but Valerie Leon’s got a story to tell! Born in London, England in November 1943, Valerie was working as a buyer for Harrods in the 1960’s before she joined Barbara Streisand’s chorus in Funny Girl. This earned her the attention of an agent who quickly booked her as the face of Hai Karate Aftershave. In 1967 she booked her first credited role on television with a walk on role as Therese in an episode of “The Saint.”
She continued working in television, in small and background roles, before becoming a recurring performer in the low budget comedy series, Carry On. Out of 31 titles in the franchise, Ms. Leon appeared in Carry on Up the Khyber, Carry on Camping, Carry on Again Doctor, Carry on Up the Jungle, Carry on Matron, Carry on Christmas and Carry on Girls. Around this time she also was a featured performer in Golden Globe Nominee The Italian Job (1969) and science-fiction’s The Love Factor (1969). Of course, horror fans will most know her for playing the dual roles of Margret Fuchs and Queen Tera in Hammer Film’s Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb. In the film, Ms. Leon plays the lead character’s daughter and an evil Egyptian queen turned mummy.
Following this success, Valerie returned to television with walk on roles in “The Persuaders,” “The Organization,” “My Wife Next Door,” “Bowler,” “Doctor in Charge” and “Space: 1999.” Valerie then co-starred in quasi-sequel Queen Kong (1976) as Queen of the Nobangas. Then, she appeared in bit parts in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978) and Never Say Never (1983). Two projects later and she quietly retired from the entertainment industry.
So, where is Valerie Leon now?
It’s funny, but Ms. Leon seems to be more respected in the new millennium than at the height of her career! In 2000 she was featured in commercials for cell phones and breakfast cereal before returning to screen in the Alfred Hitchcock adaption Gas (2006). In 2007 she received a walk on role in web-series “The Green Green Grass.” In 2016 Valerie played a supporting part in horror-comedy Pitfire of Hell and co-started in short comedy-drama The Golden Years. Her final on-screen credit as of this writing was in another comedy, For the Love of Ella (2017). Currently, she’s making appearances around the globe at various conventions and sells signed merchandise on her website: https://www.valerieleon.com/.