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Julie Walters Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (63) | Personal Quotes (27)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 February 1950Smethwick, West Midlands, England, UK
Birth NameJulia Mary Walters
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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. The small and slender actress with the prominent cheekbones has yet to give an uninteresting performance.

She was born Julia Mary Walters on February 22, 1950 in Smethwick, West Midlands, England, the youngest of three children and only daughter of Mary Bridget (O'Brien), an Irish-born postal clerk from County Mayo, and Thomas Walters, an English-born builder, from Birmingham. Convent schooled in Birmingham, she expressed an early desire to act. Her iron-willed mother had other ideas, however, and geared her towards a nursing career. Dutifully applying at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Julie eventually gave up nursing when the pull to be an actress proved too strong. Studying English and Drama at Manchester Polytechnic, she subsequently joined a theatre company in Liverpool and apprenticed as a stand-up comic. A one-time company member of the Vanload improv troupe, she made her London stage debut in the aptly-titled comedy "Funny Peculiar" in 1975, and went on to develop a successfully bawdy act on the cabaret circuit. While at Manchester, Julie befriended aspiring writer/comedienne Victoria Wood and the twosome appeared together in sketch comedy. A couple of their works, "Talent" and "Nearly a Happy Ending," transferred to TV and were accompanied by rave reviews. Eventually they were handed their own TV series, Wood and Walters (1981).

In 1980, Julie scored a huge solo success under the theatre lights when she made her London debut in Willy Russell's "Educating Rita." For her superlative performance she won both the Variety Critic's and London Critic's Circle Awards as the young hairdresser who vows to up her station in life by enrolling in a university. She conquered film as well when Educating Rita (1983) transferred to the big screen opposite Michael Caine as her Henry Higgins-like college professor, collecting a Golden Globe Award and Oscar nomination.

Reuniting with Victoria Wood in 1984, the pair continue to appear together frequently on TV, most recently with the award-winning series Dinnerladies (1998). On stage Julie has impressed in a variety of roles ranging from the contemporary ("Fool for Love," "Frankie and Johnny at the Clair de Lune") to the classics ("Macbeth," "The Rose Tattoo" and "All My Sons"), winning the Olivier Award for the last-mentioned play.

Following her success as Rita, she immediately rolled out a sterling succession of film femmes including her seedy waitress-turned-successful brothel-owner in Personal Services (1987); the unsophisticated, small-town wife of Phil Collins in Buster (1988); a boozy, man-chasing mum in Killing Dad or How to Love Your Mother (1990); and Liza Minnelli's abrasive tap student in Stepping Out (1991). Playing a wide variety of ages, she also mustered up a very convincing role as the mother of Joe Orton in the critically-acclaimed Prick Up Your Ears (1987). She capped her career in films as the abrasively stern but encouraging dance teacher in Billy Elliot (2000) which earned her a second Oscar nod and a healthy helping of quirky character parts, including her charming, charity-driven widow who poses à la natural in Calendar Girls (2003), and the maternal witch-wife Molly Weasley in the J.K. Rowling "Harry Potter" series. For her work on film and TV, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has honored Julie five times, including four awards in a row (2001-2004).

Married to Grant Roffey since 1997 after a 12-year relationship, the couple tend to a 70-acre organic farm they bought in Sussex. They have one child. Julie was honored with an OBE for her services to drama in 1999. A biography was published in 2003 entitled "Julie Walters: Seriously Funny."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Grant Roffey (1997 - present) (1 child)

Trivia (63)

Born at 3:00pm-BST
She ranked first in the 2001 Orange Film Survey of Greatest British Films actresses.
She was awarded an O.B.E (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)in the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honors List for her services to drama.
She was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2001 (2001 season) for Best Actress for her performance in "All My Sons" at the Royal National Theatre, Cottesloe.
Julie's strong-minded mother, who wished a nursing career for her daughter, was openly upset by Julie's switch of professions to acting. When her mother died in 1989, Walters found among her possessions a box stuffed with newspaper clippings that had recorded Julie's many successes.
Julie's child Maisie was stricken with leukemia at the age of two. The girl miraculously recovered and inspired Walters to write the book "Baby Talk" in 1990.
Julie's birth was complicated, the umbilical cord was wrapped round her neck and a priest was actually called to give both mother and baby the Last Rites. Miraculously she was delivered safely and survived.
A former boyfriend of Julie's noticed her acting ability and encouraged her to pursue an acting career. He later proposed marriage to her but she turned him down, having finally discovered her vocation in life and realising that marriage at that point would have held her back
She was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2008 Queen's New Years Honors List for her services to drama.
Confessed in a British magazine interview that the worst job she ever had was testing ill people's stools.
Former girlfriend of Pete Postlethwaite.
Despite playing her mother on Dinnerladies (1998), Walters was only 3 years older than Victoria Wood.
Gave birth to her only child at age 38 by Caesarean section (due to her diabetes), a daughter Maisie Mae Roffey on April 26, 1988. Child's father is her boyfriend (now husband), Grant Roffey.
Daughter of Thomas Walters (b. 1909). Sister of Tom Walters and Kevin Walters.
She now holds more BAFTAs than any other actress. Six competition award BAFTAs, one special award for television in 2003, and the fellowship in 2014.
Sister-in-law of Jill Walters.
Niece of Martin John. Niece of Joe John. Granddaughter of Patrick Walters.
Shaved her head for her role in Mo (2010). She never went out in public with a shaven head: the costume department made her a wig so that she could look like herself again.
In 2009, she received a star in the Birmingham Walk of Stars on Birmingham's Golden Mile, Broad Street.
Auditioned for a part in Dance with a Stranger (1985), but Miranda Richardson was cast instead.
Injured herself whilst filming the "Dancing Queen" musical sequence in Mamma Mia! (2008), by tripping over some rocks on a cobbled street. According to Meryl Streep, Walters "soldiered on" and completed the scene.
Peter Morgan wrote the female barrister role in The Jury (2002) with Walters in mind.
Has portrayed two witches; Molly Weasley in seven 'Harry Potter' films and The Witch in Brave (2012).
Featured in all the Harry Potter films, but one; The fourth entry, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), in which her character was cut from the script, due to a script of excessive length. Walters was admittedly hurt by the exclusion but delighted to returned for the fifth installment.
Based her eccentric performance in Paddington (2014) on her make-up artist from the production.
Sports seven different hairstyles throughout Educating Rita (1983).
Before she played the main character in Educating Rita (1983), she originated the role in Royal Shakespeare Company's West End stage production in 1980. However, when the film adaptation began production she wasn't considered bankable enough for the part and the producers considered replacing her with Dolly Parton. Walters was eventually given the part after Michael Caine was cast and she went on to receive her first Oscar nomination for the part.
Wished to keep her wand from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), but left it behind when several people told her that keeping the props was not allowed. However, by the time of the film's release she discovered that many of her co-stars kept several props from the production.
Her most important performing college was Liverpool's Everyman Theatre in the mid-1970s, where she met Willy Russell, who created Educating Rita (1983) for her, and Alan Bleasdale, who wrote her a part in his television series Boys from the Blackstuff (1982).
Suffers from yeast allergy.
Beat out Lesley Nicol for the part of Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001).
Married her husband after an 11-year long relationship.
In 2010, she achieved the rare feat of being nominated against herself in the Bafta Best Actress category, when she was double nominated for both Mo (2010) and A Short Stay in Switzerland (2009).
Her autobiography, "That's Another Story", secured her a record-breaking £1.6 million advance from her publisher.
Burt Reynolds personally offered her Candice Bergen's part in Stick (1985), but she turned it down because she disliked the script.
She passed on Sharon Stone's part in King Solomon's Mines (1985).
Around 2010, she briefly considered the possibility of retiring, until Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre sent her the script of Stephen Beresford's debut play The Last of the Haussmans, offering her the role of a former hippie in old age.
With her husband, she owns an organic farm in West Sussex.
Appears in three of the five highest grossing British films at the UK box office; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Mamma Mia! (2008) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). She is the only performer to achieve this feat.
Has turned down Hollywood several times. After her breakout role in Educating Rita (1983) she was given an agent in the US and offered several scripts. However, she disliked most of them and decided on a career in the UK, which focused on stage plays and television projects. It wasn't until the new millennium that she began pursuing film roles and appeared in several movies that were box office hits in her native UK, such as Billy Elliot (2000), Calendar Girls (2003) and Mamma Mia! (2008).
The "Waterloo" sequence in Mamma Mia! (2008) was her favorite scene to film during the production.
Has worked with two of her on-screen sons from the 'Harry Potter' series, outside of the franchise: She portrayed Rupert Grint's mother in Driving Lessons (2006) and co-starred with Domhnall Gleeson in Brooklyn (2015).
Made her stage debut in a school play production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1962.
Started playing the ukulele when she was three years old.
Took a seven year long break from acting in theatre, mostly in order to offer time to her ill daughter.
Ranked amongst the 30 most powerful women in British TV and radio, in a 2014 list drawn up by the Radio Times.
Was expelled from Holly Lodge Grammar School, at a young age, due to misbehavior.
A popular guest on The Graham Norton Show (2007). She became the most ubiquitous guest in 2015, when she visited the show three times within one year. Among her many infamous moments on the show, she has performed rap music in front of rappers Tinie Tempah and 50 Cent and felt also felt the bullet wound on the latter's tongue.
Hosted the opening of the new breast unit at Birmingham's Women's Hospital in December 2002.
Claims to be occasionally confused with Jane Seymour, Judi Dench and Julie Andrews.
Spent seven years developing her novel 'Maggie's Tree'.
In a 2001 survey by Orange, sponsors of the Bafta awards, she was voted the most popular female star in the UK. She and Sean Connery were subsequently voted the on-screen collaboration most desired to happen. Walters herself was in a Sean Connery fan club when she was young.
Had no previous experience with ballet before she performed the teacher in Billy Elliot (2000). Admittedly, while filming, she went through menopause and hereby struggled with the moves and hot sweats. She even compared herself with the hippopotamus from Fantasia (1940).
Her husband Grant Roffey has worked variously as an AA man, a long-distance lorry driver and as a sociology student.
Her daughter's illness drew a lot of media attention. Several fabricated stories were created and photographers camped out on their private property. Eventually, Walters decided to go public about Maisie's illness and auctioned an exclusive interview for which a London newspaper paid $30,000 the fee went straight to the Royal Marsden's children's unit. The interview gained Walters a lot of sympathy and she was even approached by Princess Diana who asked about her daughter's wellbeing.
Mary Norton's children's book "The Borrowers" is her favorite novel.
Had a near-death experience on a vacation in Corfu, when she was swimming to a rock off the coast where a lot of people were sunbathing. A storm whipped up and in the midst of the ocean she felt too exhausted to finalize her swim to the rock. She thought it was her final moments until a man nearby man pulled her out.
Collaborated with director Lewis Gilbert on three films: Educating Rita (1983), Stepping Out (1991) and Before You Go (2002).
Filmed three films back-to-back all co-starring frequent collaborator Jim Broadbent; The Harry Hill Movie (2013), Paddington (2014) and Brooklyn (2015).
Had minor qualms before filming her nude scene for Calendar Girls (2003), because it highlights her least favorite part of her body; Her shoulders.
In 2014, she was the subject of an hour-long in-depth TV special commissioned by BBC Two, Julie Walters: A Life on Screen (2014). It aired Christmas Eve and was seen by 1.74 million people.
In January 2016, she presented the tomosynthesis machine at Royal Surrey County Hospital during a special ceremony. The tool is new 3D breast screening equipment, which is better at detecting cancerous tumours than traditional breast imaging.
Daughter of Thomas Walters (1909-1971) and Mary Bridget Walters (née O'Brien) (1915-1989).

Personal Quotes (27)

When I think of the future, I think of doing my washing so I've something to wear tomorrow.
Self worth is everything. Without it life is a misery.
It's bloody great to get to fifty-five. I've never been bothered about people knowing how old I am.
I was asked about doing a nude shoot for men's magazine GQ. I thought it was the funniest thing I'd ever heard.
I don't like the future sewn up. I like an open book - the feeling that anything can happen.
Back then, it was still possible for a working-class kid like me to study drama because I got a grant. But the way things are now, there aren't going to be any working class actors. I look at almost all the up-and-coming names and they're from the posh schools. Don't get me wrong ... they're wonderful. It's just a shame those working-class kids aren't coming through. When I started, 30 years ago, it was the complete opposite.
[on Educating Rita (1983)] I thought I was dreadful in it. When I first saw the film, I said, 'Oh God, it's awful. And I'm awful in it.' I went straight to the toilets and started crying. When our lovely director, Lewis Gilbert, was talking about possible Oscar nods I genuinely thought he was mad. I did meet Sean Connery at the premiere, though. I had a crush on him as a teenager and he walked past me and slapped me on the bum. It was really funny.
[In a 1984 interview] (I) would never do Shakespeare again unless it was with a director I trusted. People get more out of reading Shakespeare than they do seeing a terrible production.
I did impersonations of everyone in the family and the teachers at school because I didn't know how to do anything else, but I was educated by nuns in my junior school and they were HEAVY.
British films bring a lot of revenue into this country and should be supported. Our special effects are the best in the world, thanks to the Harry Potter films, which we made in Britain with a British cast and crew. They weren't Americanised and are total proof of how great we Brits are at film.
People imagine a huge pile of scripts and it's not like that. But I get a decent trickle of stuff. Most of it, I don't want to do any more, either because it's like something I've done before or simply because I'm older now, so I don't have that same drive to keep going.
[on her autobiography] I wrote every single word of it and I loved the process, but I kind of ended the book before my career really took off. 'm not really interested in writing about my career because you have to be honest, and you can't exactly write, "So-and-so was a right little s***." I mean, that wouldn't be right, would it?
[on her mother's support of her film career] It wasn't until after she died and I was clearing out her flat that I found a huge pile of newspaper articles she had kept about me, She had been cataloguing my career, but it just wasn't the sort of thing she would say - although when she came to the premiere of Educating Rita (1983) she pointed me out to a policeman and said, "That's my daughter", so I think she must have been proud.
[on Paddington (2014)]: It gives out a really positive message about inclusion and tolerance. He's a refugee, basically. Peter Capaldi's plays the neighbour and he says, 'Before long the street will be crawling with them. Let one in'. It's all the old cliched prejudices about people coming into the country.
[on Paddington (2014)] I asked friends who'd read the books as a child to share their memories. I grilled my husband about Mrs Bird and he said, 'Well, she was very stern, but you knew that she was loving.' I remember thinking, That's a difficult one
I was given an agent and taken under the wing of Columbia Pictures after Educating Rita (1983) came out. They arranged all sorts of interviews, but nothing ever came of it. I just felt that the best writing and talent was in the UK. The stuff I was getting was c**p...well, not c**p, but just stuff I didn't want to do. After all, the best American material is always going to go to the best American actors.
All long-term relationships are going to hit rocky patches, but you have to talk things through and forgive your partner, just for being human, I suppose. Being with another actor wouldn't have worked for me because you'd never escape the business, which would make it difficult to find out who you really are. Also, because we have such different working lives, we're constantly interested in what the other person is doing. Being with someone who isn't in the industry gives me a fresh outlook and as grounding as he's been for me, I think I've grounded him, too.
[on Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)] When someone offers you a part in a film where Romeo and Juliet are played by gnomes, you can't really turn it down. You only ever see my character's legs in the film - lovely tree stumps they are too - and I'll admit, by the end of the film I was so moved I started crying. I thought to myself, "Julie, pull yourself together - they're gnomes for goodness sake!
[on her part in the Harry Potter films]It was so sad when I finished. It wasn't a very big part, but it was going in every year to the same group of people. I just loved it and it's rare you have that kind of structure in your life as an actor.
I think there was a breakthrough period where I did Educating Rita (1983) and Victoria Woods work very close together. I'd just started to be known through Victoria's stuff with Wood and Walters, which came out very close to 'Educating Rita'. It was quite a grand slam in a way for me, really useful for me doing those two things. And at the same time I started to do something with Alan Bennett, I did a play with Alan Bennett in it on television, and also Boys from the Blackstuff (1982). It all came out in a short space of time.
[on Mamma Mia! (2008)] I thought my acting was terrible in the film; so bad! I sprained my ankle during Dancing Queen and Meryl Streep went mad. She was calling for ice, calling for the nurse, she really looked after me. I was massively intimidated before I met her, because I hold her in such high esteem, but she's very down-to-earth, a good woman.
Art should reflect society but that's not going to happen if there's no funding for working class kids - like I was - to follow their passion. In acting, I certainly think we could end up with too many posh people, the only people who can afford to go to drama school, and that all the working class roles will be taken by posh people pretending to be working class, like it used to be before the Sixties. Not that there will be many new working class roles because there won't be any working class writers and the society we'll live in won't be represented. If I was starting out today, I would never have been able to afford to go to drama school.
Saoirse Ronan, she is amazing. She makes me feel like I should go to drama school, really.
[on Pete Postlethwaite] He was such an important part of my youth. I think you learn from one another without realising it - we certainly sparked off one another acting-wise in the early days. He played Coriolanus at the Everyman and I played his wife. His performance was amazing, terrifyingly on the edge, I've never seen anything like it before or since. We hadn't kept in touch in later years, but my heart really goes out to his family. He was such a massive presence wherever he went, that for them to have lost him.
[on how she keeps love alive] We can be romantic. Not soppy, though! We always leave notes for one another if I get in late or he has to get up early. And he brings me flowers every week. Sometimes I will leave a little note on his pillow if I'm going away. But even when I'm home we leave each other notes. Love is the most important thing to me in my life. It really is what makes the world go round.
[on Billy Elliot (2000)] I was very touched by it. It's moving on all sorts of levels. It was a diamond in the sand. Different from all the middle-of-the-road crap that I get sent. I loved the character, and the fact that she was disappointed on every level possible. She was so grim and jaded. Her relationship with the boy was so unusual: she was so unmaternal, and he's a boy without a mother. She treated him not like a child, but more like a lover, a man. I found that very interesting.
[on her BAFTA nomination for Brooklyn (2015)] What a wonderful surprise, thrilled to be nominated. And proud to be included alongside these great women and their powerful performances.

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