Anne Valery was born Anne Firth in Hampstead, London. She attended four schools, including a finishing school, and hated all of them. She wanted to become an actress and singer like her mother, who performed under the stage name Doriel Paget. In the years during and after World War II, she befriended a circle of writers and poets, including Dylan Thomas, Laurie Lee, Stephen Spender, Cyril Connolly, and Beryl Bainbridge. She married Nanos Valaoritis (Valery was a version of his surname), a Greek poet, with whom she had a son who died at age five; the couple later divorced. She worked as a fashion model in Paris, where she was painted by Alberto Giacometti and Augustus John, and had small roles in films such as Cardboard Cavalier (1949), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), What the Butler Saw (1950), and King of the Underworld (1952). She then worked in television, hosting programs for Associated Rediffusion and the BBC. By the mid-1970s, she had turned to writing full time. She produced her own autobiography in two volumes and episodes of TV series such as Crossroads (1975-76), Angels (1975-76) and The Cedar Tree (1977). Her biggest assignment was writing with Jill Hyem for Tenko (1981-84), the BBC drama about the sufferings of women in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.