Early Life & Career
Barbara Valentin was born Ursula Ledersteger on December 15, 1940, in Vienna, Austria, to Hans Ledersteger and Irmgard Alberti. She started her acting career at the age of 19 when she played a minor role in the 1959 Victor Trivas-directed science-fiction film ‘The Head.’
In 1960, she was cast to play Babs in the West German horror film ‘Horrors of Spider Island.’ The following year, she was seen in three films, namely ‘Das Mädchen mit den schmalen Hüften,’ ‘The Festival Girls,’ and ‘There is Still Room in Hell.’
Valentin made her television debut in 1963 when she played Heidi in a television movie titled ‘Die Jagd nach Helena.’ In 1965, she was cast to play Gloria in Mel Welles-directed Eurospy adventure film ‘Our Man in Jamaica.’
She went on to appear in many films during the mid and late-1960s. In 1969, she played Didi in a TV movie titled ‘Sing, Sing, Sing: Eine Jacob-Sisters Show’ and then appeared in a television series titled ‘Party-Geschichten.’
Throughout the early and mid-1970s, Valentin appeared in many television series, such as ‘Percy Stuart,’ ‘Butler Parker,’ ‘Drei Partner,’ ‘Lokaltermin,’ ‘World on a Wire,’ ‘Zwischen den Flügen,’ ‘Motiv Liebe,’ and ‘Münchner Geschichten.’ Meanwhile, she also played supporting roles in films like ‘King, Queen, Knave,’ ‘Tristan,’ and ‘Knife in the Back.’
After collaborating with filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder for the science fiction television series ‘World on a Wire,’ Valentin went on to play important roles in Fassbinder’s films, such as ‘Ali: Fear Eats the Soul,’ ‘Effi Briest,’ ‘Fox and His Friends,’ and ‘Martha’ (TV film).
In 1976, she was seen in five television series, namely ‘Der Anwalt,’ ‘Klimbim,’ ‘Pariser Geschichten,’ ‘Jörg Preda berichtet,’ and ‘Zwickelbach & Co.’ In the same year, she was also seen playing Mona in Nicos Perakis-directed comedy film ‘Bomber & Paganini.’
Valentin kept herself busy throughout the late-70s by appearing in TV series and films like ‘Women in Hospital,’ ‘Fairy,’ ‘Sonne, Wein und harte Nüsse,’ ‘Flaming Hearts,’ ‘Victor,’ ‘It Can Only Get Worse,’ ‘The Latest on Robber Hotzenplotz,’ and ‘St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken.’
She landed her first recurring role in 1979 when she was cast to play Aline in a TV series titled ‘Der ganz normale Wahnsinn.’ She played Aline from 1979 to 1980, appearing in 10 episodes.
In 1980, she joined hands with Rainer Werner Fassbinder to play another recurring role in a TV mini-series titled ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’ in which she played Ida in six episodes. The series was a television adaptation of Alfred Döblin's 1929 novel. In 1980, she was also seen in Dieter Wedel-directed television film ‘Ein Abend mit Labiche.’
In 1981, she played supporting roles in four films, namely ‘Lili Marleen,’ ‘Looping,’ ‘Heute spielen wir den Boß,’ and ‘Der Wasserball von Schildershausen’ (TV Movie). The following year, she played Leighton in Sigi Rothemund-directed TV movie ‘Drei gegen Hollywood’ and then played a minor role in Claus Peter Witt-directed TV movie ‘Das blaue Bidet.’
From 1984 to 1987, she played Vera Wüst in seven episodes of crime-drama television series ‘SOKO 5113.’ Meanwhile, she was also seen in movies, such as ‘The Image of Dorian Gray in the Yellow,’ ‘Rita Ritter,’ ‘The Second Victory,’ and ‘Geld oder Leber!’
Barbara Valentin continued appearing in several television films and series throughout the late-1980s and early-1990s. In 1992, she played Hilde in a TV series titled ‘Der Fahnder.’ She reprised her role as Hilde when she appeared in one of the episodes of ‘Der Fahnder’ in 1997.
Meanwhile, she played Kochlehrerin in an episode titled ‘Russische Eier’ (1995) in the popular television series ‘Zwei alte Hasen.’ Valentin was last seen in a television film titled ‘Die Hunde sind schuld’ in which she played Marlene Meiser.
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Family & Personal Life
Barbara Valentin’s father Hans Ledersteger worked as an art director in the German film industry. During his career, which spanned from 1926 to 1959, he worked as an art director and production designer in about 80 films. Apart from working in Germany, he also worked in countries, such as Italy and Austria.
Valentin’s mother Irmgard Alberti was an actress, best known for working in films like ‘Der König lächelt - Paris lacht,’ ‘Women's Paradise,’ and ‘Manja Valewska.’ She made her acting debut in 1932 when she played Herzogin in Ernst Neubach and Heinz Paul-directed drama film ‘Trenck - Der Roman einer großen Liebe.’ Valentin also had a half-brother named Alfred Ledersteger.
Valentin was close to popular British singer, songwriter, and record producer Freddie Mercury. Valentin and Mercury lived together in Munich during the 1980s. She was also featured in a music video titled ‘It's a Hard Life’ which was released by Mercury's famous rock band ‘Queen.’
During the 1980s, Barbara Valentin shifted her attention from films to AIDS activism. She started supporting organizations that fought against AIDS and remained friends with Freddie Mercury who was diagnosed with AIDS in the late-1980s. After Mercury’s death in November 1991, Valentin stopped making public appearances.
Barbara Valentin passed away on February 22, 2002, in Munich, Germany after suffering a stroke. Her mortal remains were buried in the ‘Ostfriedhof’ cemetery which houses the graves of many other famous personalities.