Hammer Horror Icons | Valerie Leon

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Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971)
Hammer Films | Starring Valerie Leon | Andrew Kier | Directed by Seth Holt

“Margaret (Valerie Leon) suffers a recurring nightmare in which she sees an ancient Egyptian queen, to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance, sealed up in a sarcophagus. The priests who entomb her first chop off her hand, but, after throwing the member to the jackals, are killed by a mysterious and powerful force that lacerates their throats. The day before her birthday, Margaret’s father, archaeologist Professor Fuchs (Andrew Kier), gives her a ruby ring. It transpires that the ring was discovered when, twenty years before, Fuchs…broke into the tomb of Queen Tera and found the ring on her disembodied hand. Her perfectly preserved body lay in a golden coffin beside it, with the stump of her arm leaking blood. At that moment, thousands of miles away, Margaret’s mother died giving birth to her. Margaret, it seems, is a vessel for Tera’s magic. Soon, when a certain celestial conjunction is complete and three artifacts assembled beside Tera’s corpse, this evil sorceress will be born anew…” – The Hammer Story: The Authorized History of Hammer Films, Marcus Hearns & Alan Barnes, Titan Books, 2oo7.

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“Valerie [Leon] was born in London on 12 November 1945 and worked as an au pair in Paris before joining the staff of Harrods as a trainee fashion buyer. She played truant in summer 1965 to attend an audition for the touring musical The Belle of New York. ‘I guess I got the job because I looked pretty and I was head and shoulders taller than the other chorus girls. So I left my respectable job to become an actress.'” – Hammer Glamour, Marcus Hearn, Titan Books, 2009.

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“[Seth] Holt [director of Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb] engaged Valerie Leon to double up as Margaret/Tera. The stunning 5’11” actress had previously appeared in…a series of ads for Hai Karate aftershave.” – The Hammer Story: The Authorized History of Hammer Films, Marcus Hearns & Alan Barnes, Titan Books, 2oo7.

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“‘I had two doubles in the film,’ [Valerie Leon] remembers. ‘You can see one of them at the end when Margaret is fighting Tera, and I had another double for what I call “the bottom shot” when I get out of bed. Someone did a little book about me once called Everything But the Nipple….'”- Hammer Glamour, Marcus Hearn, Titan Books, 2009.

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