Today, the American entertainment industry is recognized worldwide thanks to personalities like Valerie Perrine, who has given her best in the various roles she has played in several films and television series. Now retired, Perrine is one of those actresses whose talents were still undervalued in the 1970s, but her roles in films like Diamonds are Forever, Lenny, and Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills, helped her to build people’s confidence in her acting abilities.
Valerie Perrine officially distanced herself from the big and small screen in 2017, after taking a role with Jack Nicholson in The Border and appearing in the Beverly Hills television series Leo & Liz. Despite her absence from show business, her fans are still digging to learn more about her. Here are facts about Valerie Perrine’s personal and professional life.
Who is Valerie Perrine?
The American actress was born in Galveston, Texas as Valerie Ritchie Perrine, her date of birth is September 3, 1943, and she grew up traveling to different countries because of the nature of her father’s work. Her father Kenneth Perrine, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, while her mother Winifred McGinley was a Broadway dancer. It is not known whether Valerie is an only child, but we do know that her mother is of Irish descent.
It is not yet clear which high school and college Valerie Perrine attended, but information about her educational background says that she went to university to study psychology, but later dropped out to pursue her acting career.
Films and TV Show
Valerie joined the show business not as an actress but as a showgirl in Las Vagas and got a role as Montana Wildhack, a soft-porn actress in a fictional movie from 1972, Slaughterhouse-Five. In the same year, she made her debut in the TV series The Couple Takes a Wife, in which she played Jennifer Allen. 1974 was a remarkable year for the young actress when she received her very first award and multiple award nominations for her role as the stripper Honey Bruce in the biographical film Lenny. Her role as Honey Harlowe, the stripper and drug-addicted wife of Lenny Bruce, is perhaps her best yet. The film not only earned her a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category but also won her a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. For the same role she played, Valerie also received the National Board of Review Award and the New York Film Critics’ Prize.
Although she only took on a few leading roles in TV series such as Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills, Faerie Tale Theatre, Nash Bridges, and Walker, these played a role in her rise to fame. Between 2001 and 2011 she starred in TV series such as Just Shoot Me! (as Carol), Family Law (as Hele Watson), The Beast (as Mrs. Siberger), Grounded for Life (as Maureen Bustamante), Third Watch (as Merlene) and Lights Out (as Mae).
In short, her laudable career in the entertainment industry has rewarded her with a huge income that she currently enjoys. Valerie’s net worth is estimated at $12 million.
Valerie’s Family Life
Not much is known about Valerie Perrine outside the family she shares with her parents. The American actress is a descendent of the French Huguenot pioneer Daniel Perrin. Her American father had a touch of Dutch, English, French, and Welsh descent.
Valerie was never married before, but she was in numerous relationships. She also has no record of children, neither biological nor adopted.
Facts to Know about Actress Valerie Perrine
Valerie Perrine was the first actress who appeared nude in an American film. She played the role of Meredith and exposed her breasts in Bruce Jay Friedman’s Steambath.
Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski describes Valerie Perrine as ‘the sex symbol of the thinking man’, simply because she is not only honest and real in every role she plays, but also because she spoke openly about her sexual freedom at a time when such themes and roles were rarely seen.
Valerie spent a large part of her childhood in a monastery in Japan, but her teenagers spent her commuting between Paris and Rome.
Due to health problems, Valerie retired from acting in 2017. She is said to suffer from Parkinson’s disease.