January 2, 2017


Valerie Hobson (1914-1998) b. Larne, Ireland.

Valerie Hobson

Quintessential English actress Valerie Hobson studied dancing at RADA at age 16. She made her credited film debut in Eyes of Fate (1933), and the following year was signed to a Hollywood contract by Universal pictures, where she played the title role in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Returning to Britain in 1936, Hobson developed into one of the most popular and versatile leading ladies in the business. She was the wisecracking reporter in the murder mystery This Man is News (1938), and was both alluring and resourceful opposite Conrad Veidt in a brace of Michael Powell espionage thrillers, The Spy in Black (1939) and Contraband (1940). Alongside these she appeared in a couple of Alexander Korda’s London Film productions; The Drum (1938) and Q Planes (1939).

Hobson later produced an exquisite performance as Estella in David Lean’s adaptation of Dicken’s Great Expectations (1946). Hobson was seen at her best in her post-war films, notably as the demure Edith, one of the two women vying for homicidal Dennis Price’s affections in Ealing’s Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), and the selfish mother of John Howard Davies in the haunting The Rocking Horse Winner (1949). After the dissolution of her marriage to producer Anthony Havelock-Allen in 1952, Hobson retired from films in 1954 to marry politician John Profumo, and was reluctantly thrust back into the spotlight when her husband was involved in the Christine Keeler sex scandal of 1963. She faithfully stood by her disgraced husband after his resignation from politics.

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