Valerie Hobson


Actor
Valerie Hobson

About

Also Known As
Valerie Babette Louise Hobson
Birth Place
United Kingdom
Born
April 14, 1917
Died
November 13, 1998
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

This pretty daughter of a British army officer became an elegant leading lady of British film in the 1930s and 40s. Shortly after enrolling at RADA at age 16, Valerie Hobson was cast in her first film the inferior "Eyes of Fate" (1933). The following year, she headed to Hollywood and Universal where she was wasted in several pictures, often as a terror-stricken victim. One highlight of h...

Family & Companions

Anthony Havelock-Allan
Husband
Producer. Married in 1939; divorced in 1952; produced several of her films.
John Profumo
Husband
Politician. Married in 1954; career ended by British political scandal which was the subject of the 1989 film "Scandal"; survived her.

Notes

Ms. Hobson became active as a volunteer on behalf of mentally-challenged children and those afflicted with leprosy during the 1970. 80s and 90s

Biography

This pretty daughter of a British army officer became an elegant leading lady of British film in the 1930s and 40s. Shortly after enrolling at RADA at age 16, Valerie Hobson was cast in her first film the inferior "Eyes of Fate" (1933). The following year, she headed to Hollywood and Universal where she was wasted in several pictures, often as a terror-stricken victim. One highlight of her days in L.A., though, was as Colin Clive's wife in James Whale's "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935). Hobson also was cast as the exotic Helena Landless in the fair screen version of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" (also 1935). Returning to England, the actress found roles of more variety and soon became one of the most versatile and popular performers. Hobson delivered a stylish portrayal as the wisecracking, crime-solving wife of a reporter in "This Man Is News" (1938), a sort of British "Thin Man." She followed with a handful of spy thrillers, including two with Conrad Veidt, "The Spy in Black/U-Boat 29" (1939) and "Contraband/Blackout" (1940). Her postwar career yielded her best role, though. In David Lean's 1946 rendering of "Great Expectations," Hobson was stunning as the adult Estella. She also was impressive as one of the two women romanced by Dennis Price in "Kind Hearts and Coronets" (1949). After the dissolution of her marriage to producer Anthony Havelock-Allan in 1952, Hobson only appeared in two more films before retiring at the age of 37 following her marriage to British politician John Profumo. When a sex scandal involving her husband made headlines in the early 1960s, she remained steadfastly by his side. In the 1989 film "Scandal," which dramatized the events of the 60s, Hobson was portrayed on screen by actress Deborah Grant.

Life Events

1932

Stage debut in "Ball at the Savoy"

1933

Feature film debut at age 16 in "Eyes of Fate"

1935

Moved to Hollywood for one year

1935

Co-starred as Colin Clive's wife in James Whale's classic "The Bride of Frankenstein"

1935

Cast as the exotic Helena Landless in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

1946

Delivered a memorable performance as Estella in David Lean's film version of "Great Expectations"

1949

Featured in "Kind Hearts and Coronets"

1953

Last stage appearance as Anna in the stage musical "The King and I" in London

1954

Final film, "Lovers, Happy Lovers!/Knave of Hearts"

1963

Stood by her husband during a sex scandal which forced his resignation

1989

Portrayed by actress Deborah Grant in the film "Scandal"

Photo Collections

Great Expectations - Movie Poster
Great Expectations - Movie Poster
The Bride of Frankenstein - Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos taken to help publicize Universal's The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), starring Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Videos

Movie Clip

Drum, The (a.k.a. Drums) -- (1938) - Sick Of This Darn Beard An aide advises the governor (Francis L. Sullivan) about the under-cover work of British officer Carruthers (Roger Livesey) in the northwest of what is now Pakistan, whom we meet exchanging info in the field, in Alexander Korda’s film from the A.E.W. Mason novel, The Drum (a.k.a. Drums, 1938.
Great Expectations (1946) - You Shall Not Shed Tears For My Cruelty The grown-up "Pip," (John Mills) visits Miss Havisham (Martita Hunt), whom he presumes to be the secret benefactor who has financed his career as a young gentleman, and sees Estella (now Valerie Hobson) for the first time since childhood in David Lean's Great Expectations, 1946.
Great Expectations (1946) - Do You Deceive And Entrap? Estella (Valerie Hobson) dances with Bentley Drummie (Torin Thatcher) then with "Pip" (John Mills), with whom she is cruelly candid in David Lean's Great Expectations, 1946.
Spy In Black, The (a.k.a. U-Boat 29) - A German Spy Would Give His Head Valerie Hobson is a German spy in the Ornkney Islands of Scotland, 1917, posing as the new schoolteacher, as German submarine captain Hardt (Conrad Veidt) approaches by motorbike, together tricking the local constable (Grant Sutherland), in Michael Powell’s The Spy In Black (a.k.a U-Boat 29), 1939.
Spy In Black, The (a.k.a. U-Boat 29) -- (1939) - A Traitor And A Drunkard Scotland, 1917, German submarine captain Hardt (Conrad Veidt) is the guest of Valerie Hobson, a German spy posing as the new schoolmistress, about to introduce him to the traitor Ashington (Sebastian Shaw) and plans to sink the British fleet, in Michael Powell’s The Spy In Black (a.k.a U-Boat 29), 1939.
Spy In Black, The (a.k.a. U-Boat 29) -- (1939) - We'll Have To Take The Hearse Brilliant bit by director Michael Powell, working for the first time with screenwriter Emeric Pressburger, teacher Anne (June Duprez) thinks her trip to Scotland is being saved by a wealthy traveler (Helen Haye) and her chauffeur (Valerie Hobson), who are really German spies, in The Spy In Black (a.k.a U-Boat 29), 1939.
Drum, The (a.k.a. Drums) -- (1938) - Open, North West Frontier Gaudy and mappy opening sequence followed by a big splash of on-location Northwest Frontier shots, from The Drum, 1938, (a.k.a. Drums) starring Sabu, directed by Zoltan Korda.
Drum, The (a.k.a. Drums) -- (1938) - You Being An Ally Of Ours Unlike corps drummer Bill (Desmond Tester), northwest Indian prince Azim (Sabu) lacks the sense to be nervous around Captain Carruthers (Roger Livesey), en route to seal an alliance with his dad (Amid Taftazani), in Alexander Korda’s epic of the British Raj, The Drum (a.k.a. Drums), 1938.
Drum, The (a.k.a. Drums) -- (1938) - Lean, Hard, Hungry, Free Men Roger Livesey and his British column from India have just arrived in the territory of Tokot, where the dreaded Prince Ghul (Raymond Massey) is plotting behind the back of his peacemaking brother, in the Korda brothers colonial epic The Drum, 1938.
Kind Hearts And Coronets - En Masse Continuing his narration, Louis (Dennis Price) attends the funeral of one of his victims, and thereby sees many more d'Ascoynes (all of whom are Alec Guinness) together, in this scene with camera tricks from Kind Hearts And Coronets, 1949.
Mystery Of Edwin Drood (1935) - May She Always Be Cherished New tensions, brother and sister Neville and Helena (Douglass Montgomery, Valerie Hobson), in from Ceylon, meeting among others Rosa (Heather Angel), her betrothed Edwin (David Manners) and his uncle Jasper (Claude Rains), in the 1935 production of Charles Dickens' Mystery Of Edwin Drood.
Contraband (1940) - Put Me In Irons Opening scenes on board a Danish merchant vessel, passenger Mrs. Sorensen (Valerie Hobson) refusing her life jacket, Captain Andersen (Conrad Veidt) correcting her, in the second Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger collaboration, Contraband, 1940.

Trailer

Family

Mark Havelock-Allan
Son
Survived her.
David Profumo
Son
Author. Survived her.

Companions

Anthony Havelock-Allan
Husband
Producer. Married in 1939; divorced in 1952; produced several of her films.
John Profumo
Husband
Politician. Married in 1954; career ended by British political scandal which was the subject of the 1989 film "Scandal"; survived her.

Bibliography

Notes

Ms. Hobson became active as a volunteer on behalf of mentally-challenged children and those afflicted with leprosy during the 1970. 80s and 90s