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:: Valerie Taylor - Arts - 1980

Valerie Taylor   Valerie Taylor is a pioneer in the history of scuba diving and the underwater environment. She is a renowned marine conservationist, underwater photographer and videographer, scriptwriter and painter. Valerie first ventured underwater in 1956. Four years later, she took up spearfishing and won several Australian championships for both spearfishing and scuba. Valerie and her husband, Ron Taylor, gained fame in the early days of scuba diving for their breathtaking live footage of sharks, particularly Great Whites. In 1969, the Taylor's formed their own production company and Valerie, a stunning blond, was catapulted to international stardom when she appeared in Peter Gimbel's classic feature film, "Blue Water White Death." Since then, she has twice graced the cover of National Geographic Magazine and has been featured in numerous articles and documentary films. During that same year, 1969, Valerie took up underwater photography and quickly became one of the world's top underwater photographers.

During the 1970s Valerie and Ron's live shark sequences appeared in numerous productions, including the movies, "Jaws," "Orca" and "The Blue Lagoon." Both she and Ron have won numerous awards in underwater photography and videography, including the prestigious NOGI (they are the only husband and wife to win NOGI Awards in different categories).
After over 50 years in the "business," Valerie and Ron's fame keeps rising. Valerie and Ron have authored three coffee book tomes, The Underwater World of Ron and Valerie Taylor, The Realm of the Shark, and Blue Wilderness (which won the 1998 Gold Palm Award for images at the 25th World Festival of Underwater pictures in Antibes France) and Valerie has also been working on her second children's book entitled, The Mermaid Who Loved Sharks. In 1997, Valerie was awarded the American Nature Photographer of Year. The following year, she received the Golden Palm Award at Antibes, France, and in 2000, she became an inaugural Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Valerie was also honored with two distinguished National titles - the senior Australian Achiever of the year 2002, the country's second highest national award and the Centenary Medal. She was also knighted by Prince Bernhard at the Palace in Holland for her work in the field of conservation. Valerie and Ron have also been honored by the Wild Life Conservation Society of Australia for their work in conservation at a ceremony in Parliament House NSW. (see more info about Valerie under "Ron Taylor")

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