Elegant, quintessentially English (although born in Northern Ireland) Valerie Hobson was the daughter of a British army officer. She studied dancing at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and appeared on the stage for the first time at age 16, but she contracted a case of scarlet fever and decided to give up dancing for acting. She journeyed to Hollywood, but became disillusioned with the studio system and returned to Britain, where she was often cast in aristocratic roles.

She married producer Anthony Havelock-Allan and subsequently appeared in many of his films, although the couple divorced in 1952. She then married politician–and future notorious sex-and-espionage-scandal figure–John Profumo and gave up her acting career. She stood strongly by Profume during that distasteful period, which became the biggest political scandal Britain has seen to date.

In her later years she was devoted to her charity work with mentally handicapped children and lepers.