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Dame Julia Mary Walters (born 22 February 1950) is an English actress, writer and comedian. She is the recipient of four BAFTA TV Awards, two BAFTA Film Awards, a , and a Golden Globe. She has been nominated twice for an , in the categories of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

Walters 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 nomination for Best Actress. It also won her a and a Golden Globe. She received a second Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in the 2000 film , which also won her a BAFTA.

Her other film credits include Personal Services, Prick Up Your Ears (both 1987), Buster (1988), Stepping Out (1991), Sister My Sister (1994), Girls' Night, Titanic Town (both 1998), (2003), Wah-Wah (2005), (2006), (2007), Mamma Mia! (2008) and its sequel (2018), Brave (2012), Paddington (2014) and its sequel (2017), Effie Gray (2014), Brooklyn (2015), Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017), and Mary Poppins Returns (2018). She played in seven of the eight Harry Potter films (2001–2011). On stage, she won an for Best Actress for the 2001 production of All My Sons.

On television, she collaborated with , and 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 (1998–2000). She has won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress four times, more than any other actress, for My Beautiful Son (2001), Murder (2002), The Canterbury Tales (2003), and for her portrayal of in Mo (2010); Walters and are the only actresses to have won the award thrice consecutively and Walters is tied with for the most nominations in the category, at seven each. She 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 titled That's Another Story.

Early life
Walters was born in St Chad's Hospital, ,
(2020). 9780297852063, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London.
which was then the main maternity hospital for , then in . Her parents, Mary Bridget (née O'Brien), a Roman Catholic postal clerk born in , 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,

(2020). 9780297852063, Orion Publishing Co..
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,Radio Times, 29 November-5 December 2014, p. 33 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 suggested that I try teaching or nursing ... I'd been asked to leave school, so I thought I'd better do it." Performing Women: Stand-ups, Strumpets and Itinerants, by Alison Oddey, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, p. 305

Her first job was in insurance at the age of 15.

(2020). 9780297852063, Orion Publishing Co..
At 18 she trained as a student nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, and worked on the ophthalmic, casualty and coronary care wards during the 18 months she spent there.
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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: , Pete Postlethwaite, , and .


Walters first received notice as the occasional partner of comedian , whom she had briefly met in . 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 soap opera, (she later appeared in the musical version, and received an 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 -nominated, BAFTA Best Actress award-winning and Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical/Comedy award-winning performance opposite in Educating Rita (1983), a role she had created on the West End stage.

In 1985, she played 's mother, Pauline, in the TV adaptation of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. Walters appeared in the lead role of 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 in Stepping Out and had a one-off television special, Julie Walters and Friends, which featured writing contributions from , , and .

In 1993, Walters starred in the TV film Wide-Eyed and Legless (known as The Wedding Gift outside the UK) alongside and . The film was based on the book by the author and tells the story of the final years of his marriage to his wife, Diana, who contracted a degenerative illness that medical officials were unable to understand at the time, though now believed to be a form of chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis.

In 1998 she starred as the Fairy Godmother in the ITV pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, alongside actors , , , Denise van Outen and . From 1998 until 2000 she played Petula Gordeno in 's .

In the late 1990's she featured in a series of adverts for gravy.

In 2001, Walters won a Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in 's All My Sons. She received her second Oscar nomination and won a BAFTA for her supporting role as the ballet teacher in (2000). In 2002, she again won a BAFTA for her performance as 's mother in My Beautiful Son.

Walters played in the Harry Potter film series. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the only film in the series not to have 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 , which starred . In 2005, she again starred as an inspirational real-life figure, 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 . Also in 2006, she starred in the film alongside (who played her son Ron in the series), and later had a leading role in the 's adaptation of '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.".Rachel Hore, Manhattan Transfer . , 14 October 2006; retrieved 2 September 2013. Another reviewer, Susan Jeffreys, in The Independent, 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."Susan Jeffreys, Maggie's Tree, by Julie Walters . , 13 October 2006; retrieved 2 September 2013. Walters starred in 's Christmas 2007 TV advertising campaign. She also appeared alongside 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 . The same year, she released her autobiography, titled That's Another Story.

Walters played in the BBC Drama , 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."[3] 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, she 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 for A Short Stay in Switzerland.

Walters played the late MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 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 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 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. She played the part of Cynthia Coffin in the ten-part British drama serial aired on Channel 4 in 2015. In 2015, she appeared in the romantic drama film Brooklyn, a film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Her performance in the film earned her a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Walters voiced the Lexi Decoder (LEXI) for Channel 4 during the 2016 Paralympic Games. The graphical system aims to aid the viewing experience of the games by debunking the often confusing classifications that govern Paralympic sport.

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), but did not marry until 1997, 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 19th-century . 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.

Walters was diagnosed with stage 3 in 2018. Having had surgery and chemotherapy, she entered remission. Her recovery, however, meant she had to be cut from certain scenes in The Secret Garden. She also had to miss the premiere of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

1975Second City FirstsTerryTV: 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
1979Jean WatsonTV: 2 episodes
TalentJulie StephensTV
1979–1981ScreenplayFrances/JulieTV: 3 episodes
1980Nearly a Happy EndingJulie StephensTV film
1981Wood and Waltersvarious rolesTV
Happy Since I Met YouFrancesTV film
BBC2 PlayhouseMrs MorganTV: 1 episode
1982Boys from the BlackstuffAngie ToddTV: 1 episode
Objects of AffectionJune PotterTV: 1 episode
1983Educating RitaSusan "Rita" White
1984Love and MarriageBonnieTV: 1 episode
1985She'll Be Wearing Pink PyjamasFran
Dormouse (voice)
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾Pauline MoleTV: 5 episodes
Car TroubleJacqueline Spong
1985–1986Victoria Wood As Seen on TVvarious charactersTV: 13 episodes
1987Personal ServicesChristina Painter
Prick Up Your EarsElsie Orton
LuluTV: 1 episode
1986–1987 TV: 6 episodes
1988Talking HeadsLesleyTV: 1 episode: "Her Big Chance"
BusterJune Edwards
Mack the Knife
1989Victoria Woodvarious rolesTV: 3 episodes
1990Killing Dad or How to Love Your MotherJudith
1991Julie Walters and Friendsherself/various rolesTV
G.B.H. TV: 7 episodes
Stepping OutVera
1992Just like a WomanMonica
Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfastvarious rolesTV
1985, 1993Mavis/MonicaTV: 2 episodes
1993: Wide-Eyed and Legless (known as The Wedding Gift in the US)Diana LongdenTV: 1 episode
1994AliceTV film
Sister My SisterMadame Danzard
Pat and MargaretPat BedfordTV film
Requiem ApacheMrs CapstanTV film
1995Jake's ProgressJulie DiadoniTV: 6 episodes
1996Roald Dahl Little Red Riding HoodLittle Red Riding Hood / GrandmaTV film
Intimate RelationsMarjorie Beasley
Maureen HardcastleTV film
1997BathtimeMiss Gideon
MelissaPaula HepburnTV: 5 episodes
1998Jack and the BeanstalkFairy GodmotherTV film
Girls' NightJackie Simpson
Titanic TownBernie McPhelimy
Talking Heads 2MarjoryTV: 1 episode: "The Outside Dog"
1998–2000PetulaTV: 9 episodes
1999Oliver Twist TV: 4 episodes
2001Lover's Prayer
My Beautiful SonSheila FitzpatrickTV
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneMolly Weasley
2002Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
MurderAngela MaurerTV: 4 episodes
Before You GoTheresa
The ReturnLizzie HuntTV
2004Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanMolly Weasley
Mickybo and MeMickybo's Ma
2005Wah-WahGwen Traherne
Ahead of the ClassTV
2006Evie Walton
The Ruby in the Smoke TV
2007Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixMolly Weasley
2008Mamma Mia!Rosie
2009Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceMolly Weasley
A Short Stay in Switzerland TV
Victoria Wood's Mid Life ChristmasBo Beaumont/Mrs. OverallTV
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1Molly Weasley
2011Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Gnomeo and Juliet (voice)
The JuryEmma WattsTV
2012BraveWitch (voice)
Henry IV, Parts I and II, and Henry VMistress QuicklyTV films
Thread of EvidenceBetty Beesom
2013Effie GrayMargaret Cox Ruskin
Justin and the Knights of ValourGran (voice)
One ChanceYvonne Potts
The Harry Hill MovieHarry's Nan
2014PaddingtonMrs. Bird
2015–2016Indian SummersCynthia CoffinTV: 20 episodes
2015BrooklynMrs Kehoe
Very British ProblemsHerself/voiceoverTV
2016National TreasureMarie FinchleyTV
2017Our Friend VictoriaHerself / various charactersDocumentary series
Film Stars Don't Die in LiverpoolBella Turner
Paddington 2Mrs Bird
Coastal Railways with Julie WaltersHerself / presenterDocumentary series
Mamma Mia! Here We Go AgainRosie
Mary Poppins ReturnsEllen
2019Wild RoseMarion
2019–presentHerself / narratorDocumentary series
2020The Secret GardenMrs MedlockPost-production

  • Irene Tinsley, Funny Peculiar, , then , London, 1976 (London debut)
  • 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, , 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, , 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


Walters was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1999 Birthday Honours, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours, and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to drama.

Awards and nominations
1984Educating RitaRita Susan 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
1983Boys from the Black StuffAngie ToddNominated – BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress
1987Personal ServicesChristine PainterNominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress
1992Stepping OutVeraNominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
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
2004The Canterbury TalesBeth CraddockBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actress
2006Driving LessonsEvie WaltonSilver George for Best Actress (28th Moscow International Film Festival)
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
2015BrooklynMrs KehoeNominated – BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2017Film Stars Don't Die in LiverpoolBella TurnerNominated – BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress

  • 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.

External links

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