Julie Walters

Julie Walters

Born: February 22, 1950
Age: 74
Birthplace: Edgbaston, Birmingham, England
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Julia Mary "Julie" Walters, CBE (born 22 February 1950) is an English actress and writer. She has won two BAFTA Film Awards, four BAFTA TV Awards and received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2014. Walters first came to international prominence in 1983, for playing the title role in Educating Rita. It was a role she had created on the West End stage and it earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. It also won her a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. She received a second Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in the 2000 film Billy Elliot, which also won her a BAFTA. Her other film roles include Personal Services (1987), Prick Up Your Ears (1987), Buster (1988), Stepping Out (1991), Calendar Girls (2003), Mamma Mia! (2008) and Brave (2012). She has also played Molly Weasley in seven of the eight Harry Potter films (2001-2011). On stage, she won an Olivier Award for Best Actress for the 2001 production of All My Sons.

On television, she is well known for her collaborations with the late Victoria Wood, having appeared with her in several television shows including Wood and Walters (1981), Victoria Wood As Seen on TV (1985-1987), Pat and Margaret (1994) and Dinnerladies (1998-2000). She has won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress four times, for My Beautiful Son (2001), Murder (2002), The Canterbury Tales (2003) and as Mo Mowlam in Mo (2010). She also starred in A Short Stay in Switzerland in 2009, which won her an International Emmy for Best Actress. In 2006, she came fourth in ITV's poll of the public's 50 Greatest TV stars in Britain. In 2008, she released her autobiography titled That's Another Story.


Early life

Walters was born in St. Chad's Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, which was then the main maternity hospital for Smethwick. Her parents, Mary Bridget (née O'Brien), an Irish Catholic postal clerk born in County Mayo, Ireland, and Thomas Walters, an English builder and decorator, lived at 69 Bishopton Road, near Lightwoods Park, in the Bearwood area of Smethwick. The youngest of five children and the third to survive birth, Walters had an early education at a convent school and later at Holly Lodge Grammar School for Girls on Holly Lane in Smethwick. "It was heaven when I went to an ordinary grammar school," she said in 2014, though she was asked to leave at the end of her lower sixth because of her "high jinks". In an interview with Alison Oddey, Walters said about her early schooling: "I was never going to be academic, so suggested that I try teaching or nursing I'd been asked to leave school, so I thought I'd better do it."

Her first job was in insurance at the age of 15. At 18 she trained as a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, and worked on the ophthalmic, casualty and coronary care wards during the 18 months she spent there. Walters decided to leave nursing, and studied English and drama at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University). She worked for the Everyman Theatre Company in Liverpool in the mid-1970s, alongside several other notable performers: Bill Nighy, Pete Postlethwaite, Jonathan Pryce, Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale.



Walters first received notice as the occasional partner of comedian Victoria Wood, whom she had briefly met in Manchester. The two first worked together in the 1978 theatre revue In at the Death, followed by the television adaptation of Wood's play Talent. They went on to appear in their own Granada Television series, Wood and Walters, in 1982. They continued to perform together frequently over the years. The BAFTA-winning BBC follow-up, Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, featured one of Walters's best-known roles, Mrs Overall, in Wood's parodic soap opera, Acorn Antiques (she later appeared in the musical version, and received an Olivier Award nomination for her efforts).


Before making her London stage debut in Educating Rita, Walters had worked in regional theatre, stand-up comedy and cabaret. Her first serious acting role on TV was in the classic Boys from the Blackstuff in 1982, and she broke into films with her Academy-Award-nominated, BAFTA Best Actress award-winning and Golden Globe Award Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical/Comedy award-winning performance opposite Michael Caine in Educating Rita (1983), a role she had created on the West End stage.

In 1985, she played Adrian Mole's mother Pauline in the TV adaptation of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. Walters appeared in the lead role of Cynthia Payne in the 1987 film Personal Services - a dramatic comedy about a British brothel owner. Then she played the lead character's wife, June, in the film Buster, released in 1988. She also appeared as Mrs. Peachum in the 1989 film version of The Threepenny Opera, which was renamed Mack the Knife for the screen.


In 1991, Walters starred opposite Liza Minnelli in Stepping Out and had a one-off television special, Julie Walters and Friends, which featured writing contributions from Victoria Wood and Alan Bennett. In 1998 she starred as the Fairy Godmother in the ITV pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, alongside actors Neil Morrissey, Adrian Edmondson, Paul Merton, Denise van Outen and Julian Clary. The show was first broadcast 25 December 1998 on ITV1 and continues to be shown every year around Christmas on ITV2.


Walters has won numerous other acting awards, and was appointed officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999 and raised to commander level (CBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours for her services to drama. In 2001 she won a Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in Arthur Miller's All My Sons. She received her second Oscar nomination and won a BAFTA for her supporting role as the ballet teacher in Billy Elliot (2000). In 2002 she again won a BAFTA for her performance as Paul Reiser's mother in My Beautiful Son.

Walters also played Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011) and got international success with it. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the only Harry Potter film to have not starred Walters.

In 2003 Walters starred as a widow (Annie Clark) determined to make some good come out of her husband's death from cancer in Calendar Girls, which also starred Helen Mirren and Ciarán Hinds. In 2005 Walters again starred as an inspirational real-life figure, Marie Stubbs in the ITV1 drama Ahead of the Class.

In 2006, she came fourth in ITV's poll of the public's 50 Greatest Stars, coming four places above frequent co-star Victoria Wood. Also in 2006, she starred in the film Driving Lessons alongside Rupert Grint (who played her son Ron in the Harry Potter series), and later had a leading role in the BBC's adaptation of Philip Pullman's novel The Ruby in the Smoke.

In the summer of 2006, Walters published her first novel, Maggie's Tree. The novel, concerning a group of English actors in Manhattan and published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, was described as "a disturbing and thought-provoking novel about mental torment and the often blackly comic, mixed-up ways we view ourselves and misread each other." Another reviewer described the novel as "the work of a writer who knows what she's doing. There's nothing tentative about the writing, and Walters brings her experiences as an actress to bear on the page. ... you do have the sensation of entering someone else's mind and of looking through someone else's eyes."

Walters starred in Asda's Christmas 2007 TV advertising campaign. She also appeared alongside Patrick Stewart in UK Nintendo DS Brain Training television advertisements, and in a public information film about smoke alarms. In summer 2008, Walters appeared in the film version of Mamma Mia!, playing Rosie Mulligan, marking her second high profile musical, after Acorn Antiques.

Walters played Mary Whitehouse in the BBC Drama Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story, an adaptation of the real-life story of Mrs. Whitehouse who campaigned for "taste and decency on television". Walters commented, "I am very excited to be playing Mary Whitehouse, and to be looking at the time when she attacked the BBC and started to make her name." Filth won Best Motion Picture Made for Television, and Walters was nominated for Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made For Television, at the 2008 13th Annual Satellite Awards.

In 2009 Walters received a star in the Birmingham Walk of Stars on Birmingham's Golden Mile, Broad Street. She said: "I am very honoured and happy that the people of Birmingham and the West Midlands want to include me in their Walk of Stars and I look forward to receiving my star. Birmingham and the West Midlands is where I'm from; these are my roots and in essence it has played a big part in making me the person I am today". Her other awards include an International Emmy with Ben Whishaw for A Short Stay in Switzerland. She also appeared as Petula Gordino in Wood's sitcom dinnerladies.


Walters played the late MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam in a drama for Channel 4 broadcast in early 2010. She had misgivings about taking on the role because of the differences in their physical appearance, but the result was highly praised by critics.

In July 2012 Walters appeared in the BBC Two production The Hollow Crown as Mistress Quickly in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts I and II. In the summer of 2012, she voiced the Witch in Pixar's Brave (2012).

In 2012 she worked with LV= to promote one of their life insurance products targeted at people over 50. Walters was seen in television advertisements, at the lv.com website and in other marketing material helping to raise awareness for life insurance.

Walters appeared in The Last of the Haussmans at the Royal National Theatre in June 2012. The production was broadcast to cinemas around the world through the National Theatre Live programme.

Walters also played the part of Cynthia Coffin in the ten-part British drama serial Indian Summers aired on Channel 4 in 2015. In 2015, she also appeared in the romantic drama film Brooklyn, a film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Walters' performance in the film earned her a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Personal life

Walters' relationship with Grant Roffey, an Automobile Association patrol man, began after a whirlwind romance. The couple have a daughter, Maisie Mae Roffey (born 26 April 1988, City of Westminster, London), but did not marry until 1997, 11 years into their relationship, when they went to New York City. The couple live on an organic farm run by Roffey near Plaistow, West Sussex.

In August 2014 she featured in the first episode in the eleventh series of the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?. The programme revealed that her maternal ancestors played an active part in the struggle for more rights for Irish tenant farmers, known as the 'Irish Land War', which started in 1879. Although not included in the programme, Walters' paternal grandfather, Thomas Walters, was a veteran of the Second Boer War. He was killed in action in World War I in June 1915, serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and is commemorated at the Le Touret Memorial, France.


Year(s) Title Role Notes
1975 Second City Firsts TV: 1 episode
1977 The Liver Birds girl in surgery TV: 1 episode
1978 Me—I'm Afraid of Virginia Woolf woman in waiting room TV film
1978/1982 Play for Today Debbie/Valerie TV: 2 episodes
1979 Empire Road Jean Watson TV: 2 episodes
1979 Talent Julie Stephens TV
1979-1981 Screenplay Frances/Julie TV: 3 episodes
1980 Nearly a Happy Ending Julie Stephens TV film
1981 Wood and Walters various roles TV
1981 Happy Since I Met You Frances TV film
1981 BBC2 Playhouse Mrs Morgan TV: 1 episode
1982 Boys from the Blackstuff Angie Todd TV: 1 episode
1982 Objects of Affection June Potter TV: 1 episode
1983 Educating Rita Susan "Rita" White
1984 Love and Marriage Bonnie TV: 1 episode
1985 She'll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas Fran
1985 Dreamchild Dormouse Voice
1985 The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ Pauline Mole TV: 5 episodes
1985 Car Trouble Jacqueline Spong
1985-1986 Victoria Wood As Seen on TV various characters TV: 13 episodes
1987 Personal Services Christina Painter
1987 Prick Up Your Ears Elsie Orton
1987 Theatre Night Lulu TV: 1 episode
1986-1987 Acorn Antiques Overall, Mrs.Mrs. Overall TV: 6 episodes
1988 Talking Heads Lesley TV: 1 episode: "Her Big Chance"
1988 Buster June Edwards
1988 Mack the Knife Peachum, MrsMrs Peachum
1989 Victoria Wood various roles TV: 3 episodes
1990 Killing Dad or How to Love Your Mother Judith
1991 Julie Walters and Friends herself/various roles TV
1991 G.B.H. Murray, MrsMrs Murray TV: 7 episodes
1991 Stepping Out Vera
1992 Just like a Woman Monica
1992 Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfast various roles TV
1985/1993 Screen Two Mavis / Monica TV: 2 episodes
1993 Screen One: Wide-Eyed and Legless (aka The Wedding Gift) Diana Longden TV: 1 episode
1994 Bambino Mio Alice TV film
1994 Sister My Sister Madame Danzard
1994 Pat and Margaret Pat TV
1994 Requiem Apache Mrs Capstan TV film
1995 Jake's Progress Julie Diadoni TV: 6 episodes
1995 Little Red Riding Hood Little Red Riding Hood / Grandma
1996 Intimate Relations Marjorie Beasley
1996 Brazen Hussies Maureen Hardcastle TV film
1997 Bathtime Miss Gideon
1997 Melissa Paula Hepburn TV: 5 episodes
1998 Jack and the Beanstalk Fairy Godmother TV film
1998 Girls' Night Jackie Simpson
1998 Titanic Town Bernie McPhelimy
1998 Talking Heads 2 Marjory TV: 1 episode: "The Outside Dog"
1998-2000 Dinnerladies Petula TV: 9 episodes
1999 Oliver Twist Mann, MrsMrs Mann TV: 4 episodes
2000 Billy Elliot Wilkinson, MrsMrs Wilkinson
2000 All Forgotten Zasyekin, PrincessPrincess Zasyekin
2001 My Beautiful Son Sheila Fitzpatrick TV
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Mrs. Weasley
2002 Murder Angela Maurer TV: 4 episodes
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Mrs. Weasley
2002 Before You Go Theresa
2003 Calendar Girls Annie
2003 The Return Lizzie Hunt TV
2003 The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath Beth TV
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Mrs. Weasley
2004 Mickybo and Me Mickybo's Ma
2005 Wah-Wah Gwen Traherne
2005 Ahead of the Class Marie Stubbs TV
2006 Driving Lessons Evie Walton
2006 The Ruby in the Smoke Holland, MrsMrs Holland TV
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Mrs. Weasley
2007 Becoming Jane Austen, MrsMrs Austen
2008 Mamma Mia! Rosie
2008 Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story Mary Whitehouse TV
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Mrs. Weasley
2009 A Short Stay in Switzerland Anne Turner, DrDr Anne Turner TV
2009 Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas Bo Beaumont/Mrs. Overall TV
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 Mrs. Weasley
2010 Mo Mo Mowlam TV
2011 Gnomeo and Juliet Montague, MissMiss Montague (voice)
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Mrs. Weasley
2011 The Jury Emma Watts TV
2012 Brave Witch (voice)
2012 Henry IV, Parts I and II, and Henry V Mistress Quickly TV films
2012 Thread of Evidence Betty Beesom
2013 Effie Margaret Cox Ruskin
2013 Justin and the Knights of Valour Gran Voice
2013 One Chance Yvonne Potts
2013 The Harry Hill Movie Harry's Nan
2014 Paddington Mrs. Bird
2015 Indian Summers Cynthia Coffin TV: 10 episodes
2015 Brooklyn Mrs. Kehoe
2015 Very British Problems Herself/voiceover TV


  • (London debut) Irene Tinsley, Funny Peculiar, Mermaid Theatre, then Garrick Theatre, London, 1976
  • Vera, Breezeblock Park, Mermaid Theatre, then Whitehall Theatre, London, 1977
  • Irene Goodnight, Flaming Bodies, ICA Theatre, London, 1979
  • Rita, Educating Rita, Royal Shakespeare Company, London, 1980
  • Having a Ball, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London, 1981
  • Dotty, Jumpers, Royal Exchange Manchester, 1984
  • Fool for Love, Royal National Theatre, London, 1984-85
  • Macbeth, Leicester Haymarket Theatre, 1985
  • When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout, Whitehall Theatre, 1986
  • Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Comedy Theatre, 1989
  • Serafina, The Rose Tattoo, Playhouse, London, 1991
  • All My Sons, Royal National Theatre, 2000
  • Acorn Antiques: The Musical, 2005
  • Also appeared in The Taming of the Shrew, produced in Liverpool, England; and in Jumpers, Royal Exchange; performed with *Everyman Theatre, Liverpool and Bristol Old Vic.
  • The Last of the Haussmans, Royal National Theatre, London, 2012


Year Work Role Awards
1984 Educating Rita Rita Susan White Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress
1983 Boys from the Black Stuff Angie Todd Nominated - BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress
1987 Personal Services Christine Painter Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actress
1992 Stepping Out Vera Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2001 Billy Elliot Sandra Wilkinson BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
All My Sons Kate Keller Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress
2002 My Beautiful Son Sheila Fitzpatrick British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2003 Murder Angela Maurer British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2004 Canterbury Tales Beth British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2006 Driving Lessons Evie Walton Silver George for Best Actress (28th Moscow International Film Festival)
2009 A Short Stay in Switzerland Dr Anne Turner International Emmy Award for Best Actress
2010 Mo Mo Mowlam British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2011 International Emmy Award for Best Actress
2015 Brooklyn Madge Kehoe Nominated - British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Julie Walters has won eight BAFTAs, six competitive awards plus two honorary awards. The first honorary award was a special BAFTA that she received at a tribute evening in 2003, before receiving the BAFTA Fellowship in 2014.

In 2000, she was awarded the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film by the UK Critics' Circle.

She became an OBE in 1999 and CBE in 2008.


  • Maggie's Tree (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007)
  • That's Another Story: The Autobiography (Orion Books, 2009)

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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