Dame Julia Mary Walters (born 22 February 1950), known professionally as Julie Walters, is an English actress, comedian, and author. She is the recipient of four British Academy Television Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, two International Emmy Awards, a BAFTA Fellowship, and a Golden Globe. Walters has been nominated twice for an Academy Awards, once for Best Actress and once for Best Supporting Actress.
Walters rose to prominence for playing the title role in Educating Rita (1983), a role which she had originated on the West End. She has appeared in a number of films, including Personal Services (1987), Stepping Out (1991), Sister My Sister (1994), Billy Elliot (2000), Harry Potter series (2001–2011) as Molly Weasley, Calendar Girls (2003), Wah-Wah (2005), Driving Lessons (2006), Becoming Jane (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 production of All My Sons.
On television, Walters collaborated with Victoria Wood; they appeared together on several television shows, including 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 actress, for My Beautiful Son (2001), Murder (2002), The Canterbury Tales (2003), and her portrayal of Mo Mowlam in Mo (2010). Walters and Helen Mirren are the only actresses to have won this award three consecutive times, and Walters is tied with Judi Dench for the most nominations in the category with seven. In 2006, the British public voted Walters fourth in ITV's poll of TV's 50 Greatest Stars as part of ITV's 50th anniversary celebrations. She starred in A Short Stay in Switzerland (2009), which won her an International Emmy for Best Actress. Walters was made a Dame (DBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to drama.
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. 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. She decided to leave nursing and went on to study theatre at Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama (now Manchester School of Theatre). She worked for the Everyman Theatre Company in Liverpool in the mid-1970s, alongside several other notable performers and writers such as Bill Nighy, Pete Postlethwaite, Jonathan Pryce, Willy Russell, and Alan Bleasdale.
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 Parody soap opera, Acorn Antiques (she later appeared in the musical version, and received an Olivier Award nomination for her efforts).
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 starred with Phil Collins, 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.
In 1993, Walters starred in the TV film Wide-Eyed and Legless (known as The Wedding Gift outside the UK) alongside Jim Broadbent and Thora Hird. The film was based on the book by the author Deric Longden 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 Victoria Wood's BBC sitcom dinnerladies. In the late 1990s, she featured in a series of adverts for Bisto gravy.
Walters played Molly Weasley, 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 starred Walters. In 2003, the BBC 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 Calendar Girls, which starred Helen Mirren. In 2005, she 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. In 2006, she starred in the film Driving Lessons alongside Rupert Grint (who played her son Ron in Harry Potter), and 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.".Rachel Hore, Manhattan Transfer . The Guardian, 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 . The Independent, 13 October 2006; retrieved 2 September 2013. 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 . The same year, she released her autobiography, titled That's Another Story.
In 2007, Walters starred as the mother of author Jane Austen (played by Anne Hathaway) in Becoming Jane. Walters played Mary Whitehouse 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." 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.
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. Set in contemporary London, 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.
She played the part of Cynthia Coffin in the ten-part British drama serial Indian Summers 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). Set in 1947 England, Walters starred with Colin Firth in The Secret Garden (2020).
Walters was diagnosed with stage III bowel cancer in 2018. Having had surgery and chemotherapy, 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.
|1983||Educating Rita||Susan "Rita" White||Film debut|
|1985||She'll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas||Fran|
|Car Trouble||Jacqueline Spong|
|1987||Personal Services||Christina Painter|
|Prick Up Your Ears||Elsie Orton|
|1988||Mack the Knife|
|1990||Killing Dad or How to Love Your Mother||Judith|
|1992||Just like a Woman||Monica|
|1994||Sister My Sister||Madame Danzard|
|1996||Intimate Relations||Marjorie Beasley|
|1998||Girls' Night||Jackie Simpson|
|Titanic Town||Bernie McPhelimy|
|Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone||Molly Weasley|
|2002||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
|Before You Go||Theresa|
|2004||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban||Molly Weasley|
|Mickybo and Me||Mickybo's Ma|
|2006||Driving Lessons||Evie Walton|
|2007||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||Molly Weasley|
|2009||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||Molly Weasley|
|2010||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2|
|Gnomeo and Juliet||Voice|
|Thread of Evidence||Betty Beesom|
|2013||Effie Gray||Margaret Cox Ruskin|
|Justin and the Knights of Valour||Gran||Voice|
|One Chance||Yvonne Potts|
|The Harry Hill Movie||Harry's Nan|
|2017||Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool||Bella Turner|
|Paddington 2||Mrs Bird|
|Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again||Rosie|
|Mary Poppins Returns||Ellen|
|2020||The Secret Garden||Mrs Medlock|
|1975||Second City Firsts||Terry||Episode: "Club Havana"|
|1977||The Liver Birds||Girl in surgery||1 episode|
|1978||Me—I'm Afraid of Virginia Woolf||Woman in waiting room||Television film|
|1978, 82||Play for Today||Debbie/Valerie||2 episodes|
|1979||Empire Road||Jean Watson||2 episodes|
|Talent||Julie Stephens||Television film|
|1980||Nearly a Happy Ending||Julie Stephens||Television film|
|1981||Wood and Walters||various roles||Television film|
|Happy Since I Met You||Frances||Television film|
|BBC2 Playhouse||Mrs Morgan||Episode: "Days at the Beach"|
|1982||Boys from the Blackstuff||Angie Todd||2 episodes|
|Objects of Affection||June Potter||Television film|
|1984||Love and Marriage||Bonnie||Episode: "Family Man"|
|1985||The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾||Pauline Mole||5 episodes|
|1985–86||various characters||13 episodes|
|1985, 93||Screen Two||Mavis/Monica||2 episodes|
|1987||Theatre Night||Lulu||Episode: "The Birthday Party"|
|1986–87||Acorn Antiques||6 episodes|
|1988||Talking Heads||Lesley||Episode: "Her Big Chance"|
|1989||Victoria Wood||Various roles||3 episodes|
|1991||Julie Walters and Friends||herself/various roles||Television series|
|1992||Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfast||various roles||Television series|
|1993||Screen One: Wide-Eyed and Legless||Diana Longden||Episode: "The Clothes in the Wardrobe"|
|1994||Bambino Mio||Alice||Television film|
|Pat and Margaret||Pat Bedford|
|Requiem Apache||Mrs Capstan|
|1995||Jake's Progress||Julie Diadoni||6 episodes|
|1996||Roald Dahl Little Red Riding Hood||Little Red Riding Hood |
|Television film, BBC|
|Brazen Hussies||Maureen Hardcastle||Television film|
|1998||ITV Panto||Fairy Godmother|
|Talking Heads 2||Marjory||Episode: "The Outside Dog"|
|1997||Melissa||Paula Hepburn||5 episodes|
|1999||Oliver Twist||4 episodes|
|2001||Strange Relations||Sheila Fitzpatrick||Television movie|
|2002||Murder||Angela Maurer||4 episodes|
|2003||The Return||Lizzie Hunt||Television movie|
|Beth||Episode: "The Wife of Bath"|
|2005||Ahead of the Class||Marie Stubbs||Television movie|
|2006||The Ruby in the Smoke|
|2009||A Short Stay in Switzerland|
|Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas||Bo Beaumont/Mrs. Overall|
|2011||The Jury||Emma Watts||Limited Series; 5 episodes|
|2012||The Hollow Crown||Mistress Quickly||Limited Series; 3 episodes|
|2015–16||Indian Summers||Cynthia Coffin||PBS Series; 20 episodes|
|2015||Very British Problems||Herself/voiceover||2 seasons|
|2016||National Treasure||Marie Finchley||PBS Limited Series; 4 episodes|
|2017||Our Friend Victoria||Herself / various characters||Documentary series|
|Coastal Railways with Julie Walters||Herself / presenter|
|2019||Herself / narrator|
|Mermaid Theatre |
Garrick Theatre, London
|Mermaid Theatre |
|ICA Theatre, London|
|Royal Shakespeare Company, London|
|Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London|
|Royal Exchange Manchester|
|Royal National Theatre, London|
|Leicester Haymarket Theatre|
|Royal National Theatre, London|
|Theatre Royal Haymarket|
|Royal National Theatre, London|
|1983||Boys from the Black Stuff||Angie Todd||Nominated – BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress|
|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
|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 Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence
|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||The Canterbury Tales||Beth Craddock||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||Mrs Kehoe||Nominated – BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress |
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
|2017||Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool||Bella Turner||Nominated – BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress|