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Dame Julia Mary Walters (born 22 February 1950) is an English actress. She is the recipient of four British Academy Television Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, two International Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Olivier Award.

Walters has been nominated for two across acting categories—once for Best Actress and once for Best Supporting Actress. She was honoured with the for lifetime achievement in 2014. She was made a by in 2017 for services to drama.

Walters rose to prominence playing the title role in Educating Rita (1983), a part she originated in the West End production of the stage play upon which the film was based. She has appeared in many other films, including Personal Services (1987), Prick Up Your Ears (1987), Buster (1988), Stepping Out (1991), Sister My Sister (1994), Girls' Night (1998), Titanic Town (1998), (2000), the Harry Potter series (2001–2011), (2003), (2007), Mamma Mia! (2008) and its 2018 sequel, Brave (2012), Paddington (2014) and its 2017 sequel, Brooklyn (2015), Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017), and Mary Poppins Returns (2018). On stage, she won an Olivier Award for Best Actress for the 2001 revival of All My Sons.

On television, Walters collaborated regularly with ; their projects included Wood and Walters (1981), (1985–1987), Pat and Margaret (1994), and dinnerladies (1998–2000). She has won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress four times, more than any other performer, for her roles in My Beautiful Son (2001), Murder (2002), The Canterbury Tales (2003), and Mo (2010). Walters and are the only actresses to have won this award three consecutive times, and Walters is tied with for most nominations in the category with seven. She is the only actress to win the International Emmy Award for Best Actress twice, for her roles in A Short Stay in Switzerland (2009) and Mo (2010). In 2006, the British public voted Walters fourth in ITV's poll of TV's 50 Greatest Stars.

Early life
Julia Mary Walters was born on 22 February 1950 at St Chad's Hospital in , Birmingham, England,
(2024). 9780297852063, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London.
the daughter of Mary Bridget (née O'Brien), an Irish Catholic postal clerk from , and Thomas Walters, an English builder and decorator. According to the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, her maternal ancestors played an active part in the 19th-century . Her paternal grandfather Thomas Walters was a veteran of the Second Boer War, and was killed in action in World War I in June 1915 while serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment; he is commemorated at the Le Touret Memorial in France. Walters and her family lived at 69 Bishopton Road in the Bearwood area of . The youngest of five children and the third to survive birth,
(2024). 9780297852063, Orion Publishing Co..
Walters had an early education at St Paul's School for Girls in Edgbaston and later at Holly Lodge Grammar School for Girls in Smethwick. She said in 2014 that it was "heaven when she went to an ordinary grammar school", although she was asked to leave at the end of her because of her "high jinks".Radio Times, 29 November-5 December 2014, p. 33

Walters later told interviewer Alison Oddey 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.

(2024). 9780297852063, Orion Publishing Co..
At the age of 18, she trained as a student nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham; she worked on the ophthalmic, casualty, and coronary care wards during the 18 months she spent there.
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She decided to leave nursing and went on to study acting at the newly-established Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre (now Manchester School of Theatre). She worked for the Everyman Theatre Company in in the mid-1970s, alongside several other notable performers and writers such as , Pete Postlethwaite, , , and .


1971–1979: Career beginnings
Walters first received notice as the occasional partner of comedian , whom she had originally met in 1971 when Wood auditioned at the School of Theatre 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, , 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).

1980–1989: Educating Rita and Buster
Walters' first serious acting role on television was in Alan Bleasdale's Boys from the Blackstuff in 1982. She came to national attention when she co-starred with in Educating Rita (1983), a role she had created on the West End stage in 's . Playing Susan "Rita" White, a Liverpudlian working-class hairdresser who seeks to better herself by signing up for and attending an Open University course in English literature, she would receive the BAFTA Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical/Comedy, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She performed various comic monologues in The Green Tie on the Little Yellow Dog, which was recorded 1982, and broadcast by Channel 4 in 1983.[1] The Green Tie on the Little Yellow Dog production website In 1985, she played 's mother, Pauline, in the television 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 starred with , playing 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.

1991–1999: Solo TV show and dinnerladies
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 television 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. From 1998 until 2000, she played Petula Gordeno in 's BBC sitcom dinnerladies. In the late 1990s, she featured in a series of adverts for gravy.

2000–2009: Harry Potter, Mamma Mia and authorship
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 Television Award for Best Actress for her performance as 's mother in My Beautiful Son.

Walters played , the matriarch of the Weasley family, in the Harry Potter film series (2001–2011). Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the only film in the series not to have included Walters. In 2003, the voted her portrayal of Molly as the "second-best screen mother."

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 . In 2006, she starred in the film alongside (who played her son Ron in Harry Potter), and had a leading role in the 's adaptation of 's novel The Ruby in the Smoke.

In summer 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 television advertising campaign. She also appeared alongside in UK Nintendo DS Brain Training television advertisements, and in a series of public information films about . In June 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.

In 2007, Walters starred as the mother of author (played by ) in . Walters played in the BBC Drama (2008), 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."[4] 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.

2010–2019: Independent Films and Supporting Roles
Walters played the late MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the drama Mo 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. On 18 November 2012, Walters appeared on stage at St Martin's Theatre in the West End for a 60th anniversary performance of 's , the world's longest-running play.

In 2014, Walters portrayed Mrs. Bird, the Browns' housekeeper, in the critically acclaimed Paddington (2014). Walters reprised her role for the sequel, Paddington 2 (2017), which has also received universal acclaim. Upon the 2014 release of Paddington, Walters designed a "Primrose"-themed statue, which was located in (one of 50 placed around London), with the statues auctioned to raise funds for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

Walters 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. Set in London during the depression, Walters played Ellen, Michael's and Jane's long-time housekeeper, in Mary Poppins Returns (2018).

2020–present: recent work
In 2020 Walters starred with in The Secret Garden (2020). Also in 2020, Walters featured as the narrator for ITV documentary For the Love of Britain.

On 25 December 2021 Channel 4 aired The Abominable Snow Baby, in which Walters appeared as Granny, providing her voice for the animated television short film.

In May 2022 it was announced that Walters would star in Truelove, an upcoming drama series from Channel 4. That same month, Walters narrated the BBC documentary The Queen: 70 Glorious Years, which took a look at 's life in her seventieth year on the British throne. In March 2023, however, she pulled out of filming Truelove due to "ill health", according to , and her role was taken over by .

Personal life
Walters' relationship with Grant Roffey, a patrol man for the AA, began in 1985 after a chance meeting in a Fulham pub, where Roffey admitted to voting Labour. He was invited to repair Walters' washing machine, a whirlwind romance ensued and the couple became parents to their only child, a daughter, whom they named Maisie Mae Roffey (born 26 April 1988). The couple delayed marriage until they visited New York City in 1997. The family live on an organic farm operated by Roffey near Plaistow, West Sussex.

Walters is a lifelong supporter of West Bromwich Albion Football Club, having been brought up in Smethwick. She is a patron of the domestic violence survivors' charity Women's Aid.

Walters was diagnosed with stage III in 2018. Having had surgery and , she entered remission. This meant that she had to be cut from certain scenes in The Secret Garden and also had to miss the premiere of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Walters did not announce her illness to the public until February 2020, when she said in an interview with Victoria Derbyshire that she would be taking a step back from acting, particularly from large and demanding film roles. Later that year, however, she stated that she would make an exception for roles that she was 'really engaged' with, including Mamma Mia 3!, which is currently in development.

In March 2023, Walters announced she had withdrawn from appearing in a new Channel 4 drama, Truelove, due to ill health. She was replaced in the show by .


1983Educating RitaSusan "Rita" WhiteFilm debut. Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress
1985She'll Be Wearing Pink PyjamasFran
Car TroubleJacqueline Spong
1987Personal ServicesChristina Painter
Prick Up Your EarsElsie Orton
1988BusterJune Edwards
1988Mack the Knife
1991Stepping OutVera
1992Just like a WomanMonica
1994Sister My SisterMadame Danzard
1996Intimate RelationsMarjorie Beasley
1997BathtimeMiss Gideon
1998Girls' NightJackie Simpson
Titanic TownBernie McPhelimy
2000 Nominated to Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
2001Lover's Prayer
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneMolly WeasleyReleased as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US
2002Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Before You GoTheresa
2004Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanMolly Weasley
Mickybo and MeMickybo's Ma
2005Wah-WahGwen Traherne
2006Evie Walton
2007Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixMolly Weasley
2008Mamma Mia!Rosie
2009Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceMolly Weasley
2010Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
2011Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Gnomeo and Juliet Voice
Thread of EvidenceBetty Beesom
2013Effie GrayMargaret Cox Ruskin
Justin and the Knights of ValourGranVoice
One ChanceYvonne Potts
The Harry Hill MovieHarry's Nan
2014PaddingtonMrs. Bird
2015BrooklynMrs Kehoe
2017Film Stars Don't Die in LiverpoolBella Turner
Paddington 2Mrs Bird
2018 Voice
Mamma Mia! Here We Go AgainRosie
Mary Poppins ReturnsEllen
2019Wild RoseMarion
2020The Secret GardenMrs Medlock
2021The Abominable Snow BabyGrannyAnimated television short film; voice role
2024Paddington in PeruMrs. BirdPost-production

1975Second City FirstsTerryEpisode: "Club Havana"
1977The Liver BirdsGirl in surgery1 episode
1978Me—I'm Afraid of Virginia WoolfWoman in waiting roomTelevision film
1978, 82Play for TodayDebbie/Valerie2 episodes
1979Jean Watson2 episodes
TalentJulie StephensTelevision film
1979–81ScreenplayFrances/Julie3 episodes
1980Nearly a Happy EndingJulie StephensTelevision film
1981Wood and Waltersvarious rolesTelevision film
Happy Since I Met YouFrancesTelevision film
BBC2 PlayhouseMrs MorganEpisode: "Days at the Beach"
1982Boys from the BlackstuffAngie Todd2 episodes
Say Something HappenedJune PotterTelevision film
1984Love and MarriageBonnieEpisode: "Family Man"
1985The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾Pauline Mole5 episodes
1985–86various characters13 episodes
1985, 93Mavis/Monica2 episodes
1987LuluEpisode: "The Birthday Party"
1986–87 6 episodes
1988Talking HeadsLesleyEpisode: "Her Big Chance"
1989Victoria WoodVarious roles3 episodes
1991Julie Walters and Friendsherself/various rolesTelevision series
G.B.H. 7 episodes
1992Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfastvarious rolesTelevision series
1993: Wide-Eyed and LeglessDiana LongdenEpisode: "The Clothes in the Wardrobe"
1994AliceTelevision film
Pat and MargaretPat Bedford
Requiem ApacheMrs Capstan
1995Jake's ProgressJulie Diadoni6 episodes
1996Roald Dahl Little Red Riding HoodLittle Red Riding Hood
Television film,
Brazen HussiesMaureen HardcastleTelevision film
1998Fairy Godmother
Talking Heads 2MarjoryEpisode: "The Outside Dog"
1997MelissaPaula Hepburn5 episodes
1998–2000dinnerladiesPetula9 episodes
1999Oliver Twist 4 episodes
2001Strange RelationsSheila FitzpatrickTelevision movie
2002MurderAngela Maurer4 episodes
2003The ReturnLizzie HuntTelevision movie
BethEpisode: "The Wife of Bath"
2005Ahead of the ClassTelevision movie
2006The Ruby in the Smoke
2009A Short Stay in Switzerland
Victoria Wood's Mid Life ChristmasBo Beaumont/Mrs. Overall
2011The JuryEmma WattsLimited Series; 5 episodes
2012The Hollow CrownMistress QuicklyLimited Series; 3 episodes
2015–16Indian SummersCynthia Coffin Series; 20 episodes
2015Very British ProblemsHerself/voiceover2 seasons
Narrator, documentary
2016National TreasureMarie FinchleyLimited Series; 4 episodes
2017Our Friend VictoriaHerself / various charactersDocumentary series
Coastal Railways with Julie WaltersHerself / presenter
2019, 2021–Narrator
2020For the Love of BritainNarrator
2021Terry Pratchett's The Abominable Snow BabyGranny (voice role)
2022The Queen: 70 Glorious YearsNarrator documentary

Royal Exchange

, London
Mermaid Theatre
Whitehall Theatre
ICA Theatre, London
Royal Shakespeare Company, London
Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London
Royal Exchange Manchester
Royal National Theatre, London
Leicester Haymarket Theatre
Whitehall Theatre
Playhouse, London
Royal National Theatre, London
Theatre Royal Haymarket
Royal National Theatre, London


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
1983Boys from the Black StuffAngie ToddNominated – BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress
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
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 Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence
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
2019Wild RoseMarionNominated – 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.

External links

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