Vilma Valera started off as the 1961 Miss Press Photography of the Philippines (PPP) second runner-up winner. She was 15 in 1960 when she was discovered by LVN character actor Alfonso Carvajal and introduced in ‘Bakit Ka Nagtampo?’ (directed by Tony Santos Sr.), top billed by Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa.
Her biggest break was in 1964 in the movie, ‘Salambao’ with Eddie Rodriguez, Sylvia Gumabao and Van de Leon as her co-stars. She was versatile as an actress landing her in several roles in action, drama, comedy and musical films with the Philippines top actors of the time as her leading men including FPJ, Dolphy, Eddie Mesa, Eddie Gutierrez, among others.
Vilma Valera also recorded several albums which included ’60s hit songs ‘It Must Be Him’ and ‘One Day’. She also recorded a version of James Browns ‘I Got You (I Feel Good) for the Boogaloo soundtrack. A Bicolana, Vilma was actually Vilma Johnson in real life, her father being American.
When LVN films closed down, Vilma signed a contract with Larry Santiago Productions which loaned her to other companies. Throughout the Sixties she continued to sing and tour many Asian cities, like Okinawa, and then come back do a movie or two. In later years she moved to the US and settled down.
Valera passed away in Roseville, California on Friday September 21st 2018, she was 73.