Julie Walters

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Julie Walters plays Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter movies.

Julie Walters, CBE (born February 22, 1950) is an English actress and novelist. She came to international prominence in 1983 for Educating Rita, performing in the title role opposite Michael Caine. 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 is, perhaps, best known internationally for her on-screen characterisation of Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter motion picture octalogy. 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 in and co-writing with her the award-winning sitcoms Victoria Wood As Seen On TV and Dinnerladies. For decades Brit actress and comedienne Julie Walters has served as a sturdy representation of the working class with her passionate, earthy portrayals on England's stage, screen and TV. A bona fide talent, her infectious spirit and self-deprecating sense of humor eventually captured the hearts of international audiences. (From IMDB)

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[edit] Early life

Julia Mary Walters was born in Smethwick, Sandwell to parents Mary Bridget (née O'Brien), a postal clerk of Irish Catholic extraction, and Thomas Walters, a builder and decorator.[1][2][3] The youngest of three children and 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 due to 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]

[edit] Career

[edit] 1978–99

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' 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). She also appeared as Petula Gordino in Wood's sitcom dinnerladies.

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 starred as the lead in the 1987 film Personal Services – a dramatic comedy about a UK brothel owner. Walters 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 she 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.

[edit] 2000–present

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 Sorcerer's Stone (US title) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (UK Title) (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 Parts 1 and 2 (2010 and 2011, respectively).

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 inspirational real-life figure Marie Stubbs in the ITV1 drama Head 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 Phillip Pullman's novel The Ruby in the Smoke. In the summer of 2006, she published her first novel, Maggie's Tree.[10] 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 movie version of Mamma Mia!, 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."[11] 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".[12] Other awards include an International Emmy with Ben Whishaw for "A Short Stay In Switzerland".

Later that year Walters played the late MP and former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mo Mowlam in a drama for Channel 4, broadcast in early 2010.[13] She had misgivings about taking on the role because of the differences in their physical appearance,[14] but the result was highly praised by critics.[15][16]

[edit] Personal life

Walters met her husband, Grant Roffey, an The Automobile Association patrol man, in a whirlwind romance. The couple have a daughter, Maisie Mae Roffey (born 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.

[edit] Filmography

Year(s) Title Role Notes
1982 Boys from the Blackstuff Angie Todd TV: 1 episode
1992 Wood and Walters Various roles TV
1983 Educating Rita Rita Susan White
1984 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
1985–1987 Victoria Wood As Seen On TV Various characters TV: 13 episodes
1986 Acorn Antiques Overall, Mrs.Mrs. Overall TV: 6 episodes
1987 Personal Services Christina Painter
1987 Prick Up Your Ears Elsie Orton
1988 Talking Heads Lesley TV: 1 episode: "Her Big Chance"
1988 Buster June Edwards
1988 Mack the Knife Peachum, MrsMrs Peachum
1988 Killing Dad Judith
1989 Victoria Wood Various roles TV: 3 episodes
1991 Julie Walters and Friends Herself/Various roles TV
1991 G.B.H. Murray, MrsMrs Murray TV: 7 episodes
1991 Stepping Out Vera
1992 Just Like a Woman Monica
1992 Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfast Various roles TV
1994 Sister My Sister Madame Danzard
1994 Pat and Margaret Pat TV
1995 Jake's Progress Julie Diadoni TV: 6 episodes
1996 Intimate Relations Marjorie Beasley
1997 Melissa Paula Hepburn TV: 5 episodes
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 Molly Weasley
2002 Murder Angela Maurer TV: 4 episodes
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Molly Weasley
2002 Before You Go Theresa
2003 Calendar Girls Annie
2003 The Return Lizzie Hunt TV
2003 The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath Beth TV
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Molly Weasley
2004 Mickybo and Me Mickybo's Ma
2005 Wah-Wah Gwen Traherne
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 Molly Weasley
2007 Becoming Jane Austen, MrsMrs Austen
2008 Mamma Mia! Rosie
2008 Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story Mary Whitehouse TV
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Molly 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 Molly Weasley
2010 Mo Mo Mowlam TV
2011 Gnomeo and Juliet Montague, MissMiss Montague (voice)
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Molly Weasley In post-production
2012 Brave Witch (voice) In pre-production
2012 Thread of Evidence Betty Beesom Filming

[edit] Theatre

  • (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, 1984–1985
  • 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.

[edit] Awards

Year Work Role Awards
1983 Educating 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
2001 Billy Elliot Georgia 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
2010 Mo Mo Mowlam British Academy Television Award for Best Actress

Julie Walters has won 7 BAFTA Awards, a Golden Globe, an Olivier, an International Emmy and has been nominated for two Academy Awards.

[edit] Styles

  • Julie Walters (1950–1999)
  • Julie Walters OBE (1999–2008)
  • Julie Walters CBE (2008–present)

[edit] References

  1. Scott, Danny (3 September 2006). "Julie Walters". The Times (London). http://women.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,27870-2328343,00.html. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  2. Mottram, James (14 May 2001). "Julie Walters: An actress in her prime". The Guardian (London). http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,,490748,00.html. 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 029785206X. 
  5. [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 029785206X. 
  8. Walters, Julie (2008). That's Another Story: The Autobiography. Orion Publishing Co. pp. 102–123. ISBN 029785206X. 
  9. Nigel Farndale (25 March 2009). "Bill Nighy interview for The Boat That Rocked". London: The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/5038817/Bill-Nighy-interview-for-The-Boat-That-Rocked.html. 
  10. Saner, Emine (13 October 2006). "It was like being videoed making love". The Guardian (London). http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,,1921878,00.html. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  11. The Mary Whitehouse Story Julie Walters takes the lead | Interviews | primetime.unreality.co.uk
  12. http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/articles/2008/10/07/julie_walters_feature.shtml BBC Birmingham – Julie Walters on Walk of Stars (07 Oct 2008)
  13. "Julie Walters is transformed into Mo Mowlam for new film role". London: dailymail.co.uk. 4 June 2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1190793/Julie-Walters-transformed-Mo-Mowlam-new-film-role.html. 
  14. "Julie Walters tells of fear over Mo Mowlam role". bbc.co.uk. 20 January 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8470780.stm. 
  15. James Rampton (29 January 2010). "Observations: Just a Mo for Julie Walters". London: The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/observations-just-a-mo-for-julie-walters-1882279.html. 

[edit] External links