Julie Walters

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Julie Walters
BornJulia Mary Walters
(1950-02-22) 22 February 1950 (age 63)
Smethwick, Staffordshire, England
OccupationActress, novelist
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)Grant Roffey (1997–present)
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Julie Walters
BornJulia Mary Walters
(1950-02-22) 22 February 1950 (age 63)
Smethwick, Staffordshire, England
OccupationActress, novelist
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)Grant Roffey (1997–present)

Julia Mary "Julie" Walters, CBE (born 22 February 1950) is an English actress and novelist. She came to international prominence for playing the title role in Educating Rita (1983). It was a role she had created on the West End stage, and it won her BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for Best Actress she also won an Olivier Award for Best Actress in 2001 for her performance in "for All my Son's".

She is best known internationally for her on-screen characterisation of Molly Weasley in seven of the eight Harry Potter films. In 2006, she came fourth in ITV's poll of the public's 50 Greatest Stars in the UK. She is also well known for her collaborations with Victoria Wood, such as appearing with her in the award-winning sitcoms Victoria Wood As Seen On TV and Dinnerladies.

Early life[edit]

Walters was born in Smethwick, Staffordshire (now West Midlands), very close to Birmingham, to parents Mary Bridget (née O'Brien), an Irish Catholic postal clerk who was born in Ireland, and Thomas Walters, a builder and decorator.[1][2][3] The youngest of three children and the only girl,[4] Walters had an early education at a convent school[5] and later at Holly Lodge Grammar School for Girls on Holly Lane in Smethwick, although 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 [my mother] suggested that I try teaching or nursing [...] I'd been asked to leave school, so I thought I'd better do it."[6]

Her first job was in insurance at the age of 15.[7] 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.[8] Walters decided to leave nursing, and studied English and drama at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) and pursued a career in the performing arts. Walters 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.[9]



Walters first received notice as the occasional partner of comedienne 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 have 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). 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.[10] 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."[11] 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."[12]

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."[13] 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.[citation needed]

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".[14] 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.[15] She had misgivings about taking on the role because of the differences in their physical appearance,[16] but the result was highly praised by critics.[17][18]

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.[19]

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,[20] 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.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Walters married her husband Grant Roffey, an Automobile Association patrol man, 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. The couple live on an organic farm run by Roffey in West Sussex.


1975Second City FirstsTV: 1 episode
1977The Liver Birdsgirl in surgeryTV: 1 episode
1978Me—I'm Afraid of Virginia Woolfwoman in waiting roomTV film
1978/1982Play for TodayDebbie/ValerieTV: 2 episodes
1979Empire RoadJean WatsonTV: 2 episodes
1979TalentJulie StephensTV
1979–1981ScreenplayFrances/JulieTV: 3 episodes
1980Nearly A Happy EndingJulie StephensTV film
1981Wood and Waltersvarious rolesTV
1981Happy Since I Met YouFrancesTV film
1981BBC2 PlayhouseMrs MorganTV: 1 episode
1982Boys from the BlackstuffAngie ToddTV: 1 episode
1982Objects of AffectionJune PotterTV: 1 episode
1983Educating RitaSusan "Rita" White
1984Love and MarriageBonnieTV: 1 episode
1985She'll Be Wearing Pink PyjamasFran
1985The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾Pauline MoleTV: 5 episodes
1985Car TroubleJacqueline Spong
1985–1986Victoria Wood As Seen On TVvarious charactersTV: 13 episodes
1987Personal ServicesChristina Painter
1987Prick Up Your EarsElsie Orton
1987Theatre NightLuluTV: 1 episode
1986–1987Acorn AntiquesOverall, Mrs.Mrs. OverallTV: 6 episodes
1988Talking HeadsLesleyTV: 1 episode: "Her Big Chance"
1988BusterJune Edwards
1988Mack the KnifePeachum, MrsMrs Peachum
1989Victoria Woodvarious rolesTV: 3 episodes
1990Killing Dad or How to Love Your MotherJudith
1991Julie Walters and Friendsherself/various rolesTV
1991G.B.H.Murray, MrsMrs MurrayTV: 7 episodes
1991Stepping OutVera
1992Just Like a WomanMonica
1992Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfastvarious rolesTV
1985/1993Screen TwoMavis / MonicaTV: 2 episodes
1993Screen One: Wide-Eyed and Legless (aka The Wedding Gift)Diana LongdenTV: 1 episode
1994Bambino MioAliceTV film
1994Sister My SisterMadame Danzard
1994Pat and MargaretPatTV
1994Requiem ApacheMrs CapstanTV film
1995Jake's ProgressJulie DiadoniTV: 6 episodes
1995Little Red Riding HoodLittle Red Riding Hood / Grandma
1996Intimate RelationsMarjorie Beasley
1996Brazen HussiesMaureen HardcastleTV film
1997BathtimeMiss Gideon
1997MelissaPaula HepburnTV: 5 episodes
1998Jack and the BeanstalkFairy GodmotherTV film
1998Girls' NightJackie Simpson
1998Titanic TownBernie McPhelimy
1998Talking Heads 2MarjoryTV: 1 episode: "The Outside Dog"
1998–2000DinnerladiesPetulaTV: 9 episodes
1999Oliver TwistMann, MrsMrs MannTV: 4 episodes
2000Billy ElliotWilkinson, MrsMrs Wilkinson
2000All ForgottenZasyekin, PrincessPrincess Zasyekin
2001My Beautiful SonSheila FitzpatrickTV
2001Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneMrs. Weasley
2002MurderAngela MaurerTV: 4 episodes
2002Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsMrs. Weasley
2002Before You GoTheresa
2003Calendar GirlsAnnie
2003The ReturnLizzie HuntTV
2003The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of BathBethTV
2004Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanMrs. Weasley
2004Mickybo and MeMickybo's Ma
2005Wah-WahGwen Traherne
2005Ahead of the ClassMarie StubbsTV
2006Driving LessonsEvie Walton
2006The Ruby in the SmokeHolland, MrsMrs HollandTV
2007Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixMrs. Weasley
2007Becoming JaneAusten, MrsMrs Austen
2008Mamma Mia!Rosie
2008Filth: The Mary Whitehouse StoryMary WhitehouseTV
2009Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceMrs. Weasley
2009A Short Stay in SwitzerlandAnne Turner, DrDr Anne TurnerTV
2009Victoria Wood's Mid Life ChristmasBo Beaumont/Mrs. OverallTV
2010Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1Mrs. Weasley
2010MoMo MowlamTV
2011Gnomeo and JulietMontague, MissMiss Montague(voice)
2011Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2Mrs. Weasley
2011The JuryEmma WattsTV
2012Henry IV, Parts I and IIMistress QuicklyTV films
2012Thread of EvidenceBetty BeesomFilming
2013EffieMargaret Cox RuskinPost-production
2013Justin and the Knights of ValourGranVoice/Post-production
2013One ChanceYvonne PottsPost-production
2013The Harry Hill MovieHarry's NanCompleted



Star at the Birmingham Walk of Stars
1983Educating RitaSusan WhiteGolden 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
2001Billy ElliotSandra WilkinsonBAFTA 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 SonsKate KellerLaurence Olivier Award for Best Actress
2002My Beautiful SonSheila FitzpatrickBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2003MurderAngela MaurerBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2004Canterbury TalesBethBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2006Driving LessonsSilver George for Best Actress (28th Moscow International Film Festival)[22]
2009A Short Stay in SwitzerlandDr Anne TurnerInternational Emmy Award for Best Actress
2010MoMo MowlamBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2011International Emmy Award for Best Actress

Julie Walters has won seven BAFTA Awards, (including a special BAFTA that she received at a tribute evening in 2003) a Golden Globe, an Olivier, two International Emmys and has been nominated for two Academy Awards. In 2007 Julie Walters 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.



  1. ^ Scott, Danny (3 September 2006). "Julie Walters". The Times (London). Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Mottram, James (14 May 2001). "Julie Walters: An actress in her prime". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Julie Walters Biography (1950–)
  4. ^ Walters, Julie (2008). That's Another Story: The Autobiography. Orion Publishing Co. p. 1. ISBN 0-297-85206-X. 
  5. ^ "That's Another Story—Book Review". Retrieved 14 November 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ Performing Women: Stand-ups, Strumpets and Itinerants, by Alison Oddey, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. p. 305
  7. ^ Walters, Julie (2008). That's Another Story: The Autobiography. Orion Publishing Co. p. 100. ISBN 0-297-85206-X. 
  8. ^ Walters, Julie (2008). That's Another Story: The Autobiography. Orion Publishing Co. pp. 102–123. ISBN 0-297-85206-X. 
  9. ^ Nigel Farndale (25 March 2009). "Bill Nighy interview for The Boat That Rocked". The Daily Telegraph (UK). 
  10. ^ Saner, Emine (13 October 2006). "It was like being videoed making love". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  11. ^ Rachel Hore, Manhattan Transfer. The Guardian, 14 October 2006. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  12. ^ Susan Jeffreys, Maggie's Tree, by Julie Walters. The Independent, 13 October 2006. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  13. ^ The Mary Whitehouse Story Julie Walters takes the lead | Interviews | primetime.unreality.co.uk
  14. ^ BBC Birmingham – Julie Walters on Walk of Stars (7 Oct 2008)
  15. ^ "Julie Walters is transformed into Mo Mowlam for new film role". Daily Mail (UK). 4 June 2009. 
  16. ^ "Julie Walters tells of fear over Mo Mowlam role". BBC. 20 January 2010. 
  17. ^ "Julie Walters’ dramatic portrayal of Mo Mowlam 'is Bafta-worthy'". The Belfast Telegraph. 
  18. ^ James Rampton (29 January 2010). "Observations: Just a Mo for Julie Walters". The Independent (UK). 
  19. ^ "Cast confirmed for BBC Two's cycle of Shakespeare films" (Press release). BBC Drama Publicity. 2011-11-24. Archived from the original on 2011-12-30. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  20. ^ – TV advert
  21. ^ "The Last of the Haussmans - Productions". National Theatre. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  22. ^ "28th Moscow International Film Festival (2006)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-04-21. 

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