Val Lehman

  1. Fiona Spence, Prisoner (UK/US: Prisoner: Cell Block H, TV, Australia, 1979-1985.      “If prison is hell for a man, imagine what it’s like for a woman…”.  First seen for the acidic warder Vera Bennett (223 episodes), Val became the heart and soul, The Star of the jailbirds’ soap as the top dog of Melbourne’s high security Wentworth Detention Centre She was Queen Bea Smith for four years (her daughters having guest shots) before quitting – she’d done  it all!  Inspired by the UK’s Within These Walls, the huge down-under  success was booked in 1979 for 16 episodes – finally folding after 692. Producer Reg Watson then created Neighbours… still  running after 7,000 episodes!  (Only Canada dared to  exploit  the title:  Caged Women).

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  1