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EXCLUSIVE: Valerie Leon has her mark as a Bond girl twice - and she’s now spilling secrets.
The British actress first appeared in 1977’s "The Spy Who Loved Me" opposite Roger Moore. She would later share the screen with Sean Connery in 1983’s "Never Say Never Again."
The 77-year-old is now reflecting on her lasting success as a star during the online event "Up Front with Valerie Leon" on Sunday, March 14. Leon will detail her life and what it was like appearing in several British cult classes. The Zoom webinar will also highlight a live Q&A for fans.
Leon spoke to Fox News about how she was discovered, what it was really like working with Moore and Connery, as well as how she feels about her sex symbol status.
English actress Valerie Leon on July 21, 1971. She later starred in two Bond films, "The Spy Who Lovd Me" and "Never Say Never Again." (Jack Kay/Daily Express/Getty Images)
Fox News: What can audiences expect from "Up Front with Valerie Leon" and why now? Valerie Leon: I have done this event previously in small theaters, which are all shut down now due to the coronavirus. And I wanted to do something during the lockdown. It’s entertaining. It’s about my life and how I came to be in show business.
Fox News: You had your first break in "Funny Girl" with Barbra Streisand at London’s Prince of Wales Theater. What was that like? Leon: It was fantastic. I remember when I first saw the advertisement. They were looking for showgirls. So I went along to the Prince of Wales Theater. I went through not one or two auditions, but six. And I was finally offered a small speaking role.
It was really incredible because this was 1966 and it was the hottest ticket in town. It was very successful, but it only lasted three months because Barbra became pregnant with her son. But because of that show, I was able to get an agent who got me into television.
Valerie Leon got her start working alongside Barbra Streisand on stage. (Jeremy Fletcher/Getty Images)
Fox News: What was Barbra Streisand like? Leon: She really was extraordinary. I remember for a party celebrating our first night of the show, she had hamburgers flown in from America because she didn’t like British hamburgers. She was a superstar even back then. But she was very lovely. My God, I remember the fans she used to have. She would have to creep out in the back of the theater *laughs*. But it truly was a wonderful experience for me.
Fox News: How did you get discovered as a Bond girl? Leon: In Britain, I did a series of commercials for Hai Karate, which was a man’s aftershave. It involved this really tall, buxom woman chasing a small man and smelling his aftershave. We got into all sorts of situations, which were very amusing. I think that opened a lot of doors for me.
Valerie Leon starred as a Bond girl in two 007 films. (Photo courtesy of Valerie Leon)
My first Bond movie was "The Spy Who Loved Me." All I asked was not to get killed off. It was a small role, but you know, it doesn’t matter if you have a small role or that of the leading lady. When you’re a Bond girl, you’re a Bond girl for life. And that in itself opened so many doors for me. It’s become bigger than life for me. Bond has become a magic word in my lifetime.
Actor Roger Moore on the set of "The Spy Who Love Me." (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Fox News: What was your initial impression of Roger Moore? Leon: I first worked with him on "The Persuaders!" in 1971. He gave me a completely unscripted kiss, which I’ve never forgotten *laughs*. But Roger was a lot of fun to work with. He was a really, really lovely man. He’s greatly missed. He was such a nice man. I can’t stress that enough.
Fox News: You worked with Roger Moore several other times after that Bond film. How did your relationship with him change over the years? Leon: I don’t think it changed that much. I will tell you something that I’ve regret so much. I was incredibly shy when I came into show business. People used to think that I was perhaps standoffish. I wasn’t really good at relating to people then. It’s an awful thing to say because when I look back on my life, I do have a lot of regrets in that direction, which is quite sad actually.
But you know, Roger always welcomed me. He was always loving. For instance, we had this long gap of not seeing each other. We then reunited at a book launch. I took a lot of pictures of the two of us together. It had been years since we last saw each other. So I said, "Oh Roger, would you mind signing this for me?" He said, "Oh, don’t be silly." And he wrote, "Dear Valerie, How slim I was then and you still are. Love, Roger." I’ve got that on my wall.
Sean Connery on the set of the movie "Never Say Never Again."(Getty)
Fox News: You also worked with Sean Connery in "Never Say Never Again." How nervous were you to work with him? Leon: "Never Say Never Again" was quite a difficult film. Sean hadn’t played the role of Bond in quite some time when he took on this film. So I think there were a lot of expectations. I guess I was nervous, but I remember we had some fun. I remember we were in the Bahamas and we were on a boat. There’s a picture of us just messing around together.
But it was a difficult film. Sean is much more of a perfectionist. Roger is more of a jokester who likes to have fun on set. I think there were certain aspects of the production he wasn’t happy with. Thankfully, it had nothing to do with me. I just thought it was brilliant that I had an opportunity to work on not one, but two Bond films.
Fox News: You and Sean shared a romantic bed scene. How did he put you at ease? Leon: We had a drink beforehand and it was good *laughs*. But I remember how quickly he got out of the bed when his wife [Micheline] showed up on set. I remember we would have a lovely morning in bed filming. But then in the afternoon when his wife came, he couldn’t get out of there quickly enough *laughs*. But we had fun.
Valerie Leon said Sean Connery put her at ease during their bed scene in "Never Say Never Again." (Jeremy Fletcher/Getty Images)
Fox News:Bond girl Barbara Carrera described having a similar experience. Leon: That’s right, we actually worked on the same film together. You know, everyone thinks filming a Bond movie is glamorous, and it can be. But I do remember one day, I was at this beautiful hotel in the Bahamas, but there was no social aspect. I was wandering around the grounds. There was no one for me to have dinner with. But I bumped into Barbara and we ended up having dinner together. It was so wonderful because it can be quite lonely. She was very lovely, too.
Fox News: Why do you believe Bond films continue to have such a lasting impact in Hollywood? Leon: I think it’s something in the psyche. Bond is possibly what every woman wants and what every man wishes to be. It’s this whole idea that one guy can save the world.
Fox News: Would you be open to a female Bond? Leon: Ian Fleming created Bond as a man so I don’t think we should change something that’s been successful for years. That’s how he perceived the character to be. It doesn’t matter if the person is Black, White, whatever - but it should be a man. In my opinion, it should definitely be a man.
Valerie Leon has starred in several British cult classics over the years. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Fox News: As a Bond girl, how did you feel about being a sex symbol? Leon: I supposed that over the years, I have been a sex symbol. I’ve never particularly felt like a sex symbol. But I sold it as a Bond girl. And how does one feel about it? Well, to be honest, I feel very lucky. Because somewhere along the line, I must have made an impact. Let’s face it, I’m still making a future about my past. It has kept me in the public eye and fans still reach out to me. I’m just grateful, really.
Fox News: You’ve worked with many other leading men in addition to Roger Moore and Sean Connery. Who was your favorite and why? Leon: I don’t know whether he was my favorite, but Peter Sellers was the most extraordinary actor. We worked on 1978’s "Revenge of the Pink Panther." It was sadly the last "Panther" film he made. And he wasn’t even well on that one. He passed away in 1980. But still, he brought this special quality on set that I never forgot. I felt very blessed that I had the honor to work with Peter Sellers.
Valerie Leon also starred in the 1971 horror flick "Blood From the Mummy's Tomb." (Photo courtesy of Valerie Leon)
Another person that comes to mind is Michael Caine. We worked together on 1969’s "The Italian Job." Another wonderful talent. I’m very blessed that I’ve worked with such wonderful actors because I’ve never had any formal training.
Peter Sellers with Valerie Leon (Photo courtesy of Valerie Leon)
Fox News: Dare we ask which was your favorite Bond to work with? Leon: Roger was my favorite. Absolutely, without question. But we also had more history together.
Fox News: What’s your favorite memory of Roger Moore? Leon: It has to be that unscripted kiss from "The Persuaders!" that I told you about. I remember I wrote to him [before he died] asking if I was able to discuss that memory. And he said, "I only ask you in return that you credit me with being a good screen kisser as that would undoubtedly do my street cred a lot of good." I still have the letter! Oh, he’s so greatly missed.
Fox News: You’ve stayed busy over the years. What has kept you going? Leon: I’m a certain age now and I think it's really, really important to keep doing something positive. Life doesn’t end once you get older. I think it’s really important to try and do new things. I can’t just sit back quietly with a book *laughs*.
Valerie Leon today (Photo courtesy of Valerie Leon)
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Copied from the Book; " Reality as Myth " by Onyeji Nnaji The beauty of the discovering of the Radar Rivers and their channels is that it disproves the western hegemonic claim of the Euphrates valley being the position of the birth of the great river, all the points that opposed their claims notwithstanding. Even God himself was very perfect in His creation by placing them in their positions, hierarchically, according to their birth. The first river that flowed located the Havilah land where there are good quality gold, bdellium and fine onyx stones. Pison was the oldest of the rivers and it flowed through the land of the southern Africa. The second river flowed northward to Ethiopia. It was when Africa had been overtaken by virtue of her proximity to the Great Water that other parts of the world began to encounter the remaining river; remarkable with Hiddekel. Subscribe to ajuede.com to be updated on our posts on dailies. The major problem towards
STRICTLY FOR COUPLES … You will know that the man is the head while you are his neck. As such, you direct his focus and make him fixative Our series include the following : * Show him what he looks out for from other women * Teach him like he knows nothing * Learn to play naked games with your husband * Learn to package yourself * Learn to work on your husband M y neighbour had v owed never to let any girl survive as a salesgirl in my shop. This thing has happened for over three times. Each time we brought a new salesgirl, the girl would stay for two or three months; and suddenly she would end her contract with us. In all these, my husband did not know. So, being that the girls usually stole money and other items, the reason for their departure became genuine, thus: they ran away to avoid being punished for their actions. But behind this, the underlying truth is that the girls had been embarrassed by my neighbour who would warn them to leave her loosed husband. Re
Copied from the book, Reality as Myths by Onyeji Nnaji T he world of the Bantu travellers shows the walls of the migration that recorded the highest population among the African settlement. Originating from the largest population among the four races that settled in the east before time, all Bantu travellers were pygmies; for that was the nature of the Umudiala, the generation that gave birth to them. The Wikipedia map for Bantu migrations shown below will be of help towards digesting our descriptions of the Bantu people. Bantu migration was rated the third earliest migration of the Negro race from the east. In this regard, all their movement had involved great population of people compared to the number of people involved in the two earlier populations that gave birth to Ethiopia, Nubia and Egypt: the Walker Traveller, and the Race of Anu. Bantu population as we have identified in the third chapter above outweighs the rest of the population of the ancient fathers
There are four generations…, and the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect. These people will enter the holy place of their Father and they will reside in rest … They are kings. They are the immortal within the mortal ( The Nag Hammadi, 219 ) O ne of the African homes that colonialism has completely deformed beyond certain level of recognition is Nsukka. Colonialism apart, the most affecting factor to the survival of the meaning which the rich cultural enclave, Nsukka, carries will best be blamed on postcolonial political structure. The biggest harm all these have against Nsukka as a people is that they rubbed her of the meaning of her name; their place of origin; how their fathers managed to come into their present abodes and who their ancestors were. A profound understanding of the excerpt above will open the door towards deciphering the meaning and origin of the people called Nsukka. Also read Nsukka Civilization: The Pe
Strictly for Couples T he biggest risk every marriage faces is what I call the retiring time. There is actually no retiring time for marriage as the union directly speaks of itself. But many marriages normally do have certain time in their history when the couples begin to ware away from the other like a baked clod-and-pebble. By this time the parties find it difficult to retrace the path that once brought them together. You may have heard “I don’t think I sought your hands in marriage with clear eyes”. Next, they may say that the other used means on them. It is not always so, even when some people believe that someone could use means as a wooing instrument. Some of the causes of such situations have been discussed in the series 1 through 3. But when someone does not have any of these problems discussed in the series, then it is simply that such a wife needs to make herself look relatively younger that her age to enforce attraction on her husband. To do this one need
T he name Nkalaha is a coinage which stands for a people occupying a geographical land and regional setting in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is a coinage which attempts to explain the direction of movement and adventure of the men who founded the community in the 15th century AD. According to oral sources and some documentation about this community, some of these men were believed to have traveled from Ida, old Benue state of Nigeria to inhabit the land. These men had traveled on different days to locate the place. Onojah who originally founded the land was said to have been in a deep search for a place of safety as he was besieged by a fate that appeared to make him somewhat incompatible with his own people. Other works bothering on Nkalaha are stated below. Touch any of the topics and read them to increase your understanding of your home. Make comments where necessary. The History of Nkalaha language Myth and the Nkalaha world The negative effects of politics in Nkalah
Copied from: Cosmic Chain by Onyeji Nnaji I n the Igbo cosmology, the word Isee is a definite symbolic word as revealed through the Igbo language and culture. A human being has five fingers, five toes. The hands and feet are fundamentals to the survival in life as they are necessary in ensuring that man moves to places where he gets food and grapples on the food to sustain his life. To this view, the rhetoric that binds vocatives in the form of incantation (anchoring on the heart-lock: four ) and the concomitant reprisal in the manner of affirmation that holds the human life bind to his original spiritual person, therefore defining existence and essences are unified by the corresponding echo: Isee!!!!! Therefore it stands that anytime a prayer is said in the Igbo land, the attendants who would want the fulfillment of the prayer unanimously affirmed the prayer by saying Isee! Five then becomes the language of the spirit, the language of the creator that indicates agreement to, no
INTRODUCTION One thing that made Udi remarkable is the indubitable legacy adopted in commemoration of the legendry fighter, Uto at Nsude. It was one of the greatest contributions of the descendants of Agbaja to the survival of Nsukka civilization of memory. Uto held from Oshie. Uto dies of small pox after a mercenary battle he was hired to fight in the ancient Benin. His body was buried in the evil forest as the tradition demanded. Although he lived no longer, the stepped pyramids above were adopted to commemorate the lasting peace he brought to the entire Oshie and Udi nation of people. Another remarkable thing about Udi is the fertility of the land. This has contributed widely in sustaining the inhabitants and provided a name for the inhabitants in the manner of Abakaliki, Umudike, Ogbaru, Igboariam, Ohaji, Uzouwani, etc., especially in Amofia-Agu, Affa. Udi is a land of great rivers and springs: Adaada, Ajali, Oji, Aria, Nvenu, Ngene Evu, Iyi Ububo, etc. as was the situ