Valerie Van Ost, the star of four “Carry On” comedies in the 1960s, has died at the age of 75. Van Ost appeared in “Carry On Cabby,” “Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head,” “Carry On Doctor” and “Carry On Again Doctor,” according to her IMDb page.
Van Ost’s sad passing was announced by agent Barry Langford who said in a tweet, “A sad goodbye to beautiful Valerie Van Ost, who passed away this week. Valerie gave up her successful acting career to become a respected casting director and was beloved in both professions. She will be much missed. #RIP #CarryOn.”
Van Ost, a native of Herkamsted, Hertfordshire, turned to acting after she had been a dancer in her teenager at London’s famed Palladium theatre. Van Ost was once considered to be a possible replacement for Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in “The Avengers,” having once appeared in an episode of the show. In 1973, Van Ost took on her other most famous role, in the Hammer horror movie, “The Satanic Rites of Christ.” Van Ost played the role of a Secret Service secretary who is kidnapped by a satanic cult. Van Ost famously gets bitten by Dracula, played by Christopher Lee. This leads her to become vampire, eventually being killed by Scotland Yard Investigator Murray.
Van Ost was married to movie producer Greg Smith. Smith had been the producer of Britain’s other great bawdy comedy series, the “Confessions” series of movies in the 1970s.
Later, in 1985, Van Ost married Andrew Millington, with whom she set up a casting agency. This coincided with Van Ost’s retirement from acting. The pair cast five movies and a television series during the 1980s. Two of those films, “The Boys in Blue” and “Funny Money” were produced by her first husband, according to a profile of Greg Smith. Van Ost and Millington set up their company in 1979.
Van Ost was among those thanked as giving a personal interview win Pauline Scudamore’s autobiography of comedy legend Spike Milligan.