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) and Mamma Mia! (2008). 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 Victoria Wood and has 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.
Walters was born in St. Chad’s Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, then the maternity hospital for Smethwick, Staffordshire. 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, 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.”
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) 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.
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) 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 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.
Julie Walters also played the part of Cynthia Coffin in the ten-part British drama serial Indian Summers aired on Channel 4 in 2015.
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.
- (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
|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|
|1979–1981||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||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||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|
|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||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||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||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||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|
|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||Henry IV, Parts I and II, and Henry V||Mistress Quickly||TV films|
|2012||Thread of Evidence||Betty Beesom||Filming|
|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||Completed|
|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|
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.
- Walters, Julie (2008). That’s Another Story: The Autobiography. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-297-85206-3.
- Scott, Danny (3 September 2006). “Julia Walter”. The Times (London). Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- Mottram, James (14 May 2001). “Julie Walters: An actress in her prime”. The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- Julie Walters Biography (1950–)
- Walters, Julie (2008). That’s Another Story: The Autobiography. Orion Publishing Co. p. 1. ISBN 0-297-85206-X.
- “That’s Another Story—Book Review”. Retrieved 14 November 2009. ]
- Performing Women: Stand-ups, Strumpets and Itinerants, by Alison Oddey, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. p. 305
- Walters, Julie (2008). That’s Another Story: The Autobiography. Orion Publishing Co. p. 100. ISBN 0-297-85206-X.
- Walters, Julie (2008). That’s Another Story: The Autobiography. Orion Publishing Co. pp. 102–123. ISBN 0-297-85206-X.
- Nigel Farndale (25 March 2009). “Bill Nighy interview for The Boat That Rocked”. The Daily Telegraph (UK).
- Saner, Emine (13 October 2006). “It was like being videoed making love”. The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- Rachel Hore, Manhattan Transfer. The Guardian, 14 October 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Susan Jeffreys, Maggie’s Tree, by Julie Walters. The Independent, 13 October 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- The Mary Whitehouse Story Julie Walters takes the lead | Interviews | primetime.unreality.co.uk
- BBC Birmingham – Julie Walters on Walk of Stars (7 Oct 2008)
- “Julie Walters is transformed into Mo Mowlam for new film role”. Daily Mail (UK). 4 June 2009.
- “Julie Walters tells of fear over Mo Mowlam role”. BBC. 20 January 2010.
- “Julie Walters’ dramatic portrayal of Mo Mowlam ‘is Bafta-worthy’”. The Belfast Telegraph.
- James Rampton (29 January 2010). “Observations: Just a Mo for Julie Walters”. The Independent (UK).
- “Cast confirmed for BBC Two’s cycle of Shakespeare films” (Press release). BBC Drama Publicity. 24 November 2011. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- – TV advert
- “The Last of the Haussmans – Productions”. National Theatre. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- BBC Media Centre
- “28th Moscow International Film Festival (2006)”. MIFF. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- Official web site Julie Walters
- Julie Walters at the Internet Movie Database
- Julie Walters at the British Film Institute’s Screenonline
- A Conversation with Julie Walters – interactive video interview presented by BFI Screenonline and British Telecom
- Walters named as CBE