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Julie Stevens – Venus Smith

Nightclub singer Venus Smith (Julie Stevens) appeared in six episodes of The Avengers. She was a complete “amateur”, meaning that she did not have any professional crime-fighting skills as did the two doctors. She was excited to be participating in a spy adventure alongside secret agent Steed (although some episodes—”The Removal Men”, “The Decapod”—indicate she is not always enthusiastic). Nonetheless, she appears to be attracted to him, and their relationship is somewhat similar to that later portrayed between Steed and Tara King. Her episodes featured musical interludes showcasing her singing performances. The character of Venus underwent some revision during her run, adopting more youthful demeanour and dress.

Julie Stevens (born Julia Bullas; born 20 December 1936) is an English actress, presenter and singer best known in Britain for appearing on children’s television.

Stevens was born in Prestwich and attended Stand Grammar School. She trained as a nurse at Manchester Royal Infirmary after starting her television career as a comedienne in the TV show Bid for Fame. She was a regular on Play School and Play Away and provided vocals for the school’s television series Look and Read.

During the 1962–63 season, she played Venus Smith, an occasional partner of John Steed in the TV series, The Avengers, alternating with Honor Blackman’s Cathy Gale. Venus was a nightclub singer, and each of her appearances included at least one musical number. She appeared in only six episodes, and Stevens is not usually included in the “Avengers Girls” list.

In 1964, Stevens appeared in the British comedy film Carry On Cleo playing the slave girl Gloria. She also co-starred with Denise Coffey in the 1969–71 ITV comedy series Girls About Town. She appeared in the children’s historical comedy series Cabbages and Kings (1972) opposite Johnny Ball and Derek Griffiths.

Personal life
She married actor John White[3] in January 1962; they had two children but separated in 1975. Stevens was later married to the actor and director Michael Hucks from 1981 until 2001. White, also a presenter on Play School during the late 1960s, died from bone cancer in 1993.

Songs from Play School, with Rick Jones and Jonathan Cohen (1969)

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