Biography

The daughter of a military officer, Valerie Perrine spent her childhood hopscotching from one country to another. Her early plans to become a psychologist were abandoned when she parlayed her svelte figure and sparkling personality into a brief career as a Las Vegas showgirl. Perrine then settled into a lucrative, active career upon being cast as habitually naked movie queen Montana Wildhack in Slaughterhouse Five (1971). While her talk show persona was that of a typically airheaded starlet, Perrine was in fact a serious, dedicated actress; she won an Oscar nomination for her performance as Honey Bruce in 1974's Lenny, and was no less impressive as Carlotta Monti in 1976's W.C. Fields and Me. Despite her acting accomplishments, Perrine was most often cast on the basis of her top-heavy physical attributes; it is said that she was cast as the leading lady in Can't Stop the Music (1980) in order to attract those "straight" filmgoers that might have otherwise avoided a film starring the Village People. More recently, Valerie Perrine has excelled in eccentric character roles on such TV series as Northern Exposure and ER. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi