Who is Julie Walters?

British actress Dame Julia Mary Walters was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, on 22 February 1950, making her zodiac sign Pisces. She has over 100 acting credits, but is probably still known best for starring as Mrs Wilkinson in the 2000 musical movie “Billy Elliot”, which also starred Jamie Bell and Jean Heywood, and was directed by Stephen Daldry. It follows a young boy whose family’s falling apart, and who’s found comfort in dancing; the movie won 55 of its 126 award nominations, including Oscar nominations for Best Writing, Best Director and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (for Julie).

She’s currently shooting for the upcoming movie “Paddington in Peru”.

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Education and early life

Julie was raised in Edgbaston alongside her brothers Kevin and Tom, by their British father Thomas Walters who was a decorator and builder, and Irish Catholic mother Mary Bridget (nee O’Brien) who was a postal clerk; Julie’s paternal grandfather Thomas Walters died fighting in World War I.

Julie became interested in numerous activities while attending a local elementary school, including acting and singing, but was never into studying and thus had poor grades. She was 15 when she was asked to quit school because of her grades, and Julie thus began working in insurance.

She joined the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to train as a nurse after she had turned 18, but after a year and a half there enrolled at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre to study acting; she spent the first half of the ‘70s performing with the Everyman Theatre Company in Liverpool, England.

Roles in TV series

Julie’s debut TV series role was playing Terry in the 1975 episode “Club Havana” of the drama “Second City Firsts”, and the remainder of the decade saw her appear in an episode of the comedy “The Liver Birds”, the drama “Empire Road”, and another drama “Screenplay”.

She had only a couple of TV series roles in the ‘80s, and what marked the decade for her was perhaps portraying the lead character Martha Longhurst in all 13 episodes of the comedy “Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV”, which also starred Victoria Wood and Celia Imrie, and follows the popular actresses in various sketches; the series aired from 1985 through 1987, and won five of its seven award nominations.

Some of Julie’s most notable performances in the ‘90s were perhaps in the 1998 short comedy mini-series “Talking Heads 2”, the 1999 crime mini-series “Oliver Twist”, and the 2000 comedy “Dinner Ladies”, all lead roles.

She appeared in only a single TV series in the 2000s, portraying Beth in the 2003 episode “The Wife of Bath” of the popular drama mini-series “Canterbury Tales”, which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor and Indira Varma, and is an adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s six Canterbury Tales; the series won four of its nine award nominations.

In 2015 and ‘16, Julie starred as Cynthia Coffin in 20 episodes of the drama “Indian Summers”, which also starred Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Jemima West, and was created by Paul Rutman. Set in 1932, the series follows the lives of several people in British India, and it was nominated for two awards.

Julie’s since appeared in only two TV series, playing Marie in all four episodes of the 2016 drama mini-series “National Treasure”. and voicing Mrs Moley in the 2023 episode “Mrs Moleys Manic Movers” of the animated family comedy “Moley”.

Roles in movies

Julie’s debut film role was playing Woman in Waiting Room in the 1978 drama “Me! I’m Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, and some of her following appearances were in the 1980 romantic comedy “Nearly a Happy Ending”, the 1983 comedy “Educating Rita” and the 1985 comedy “She’ll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas”.

What marked the ‘80s for her was perhaps portraying Elsie Orton in the 1987 biographical drama “Prick Up Your Ears”, which starred Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina, and was directed by Stephen Frears. It follows biographer John Lahr as he’s writing a book about playwright Joe Orton, and the film won five of its 13 award nominations.

Some of Julie’s notable performances in the ‘90s were in the 1992 romantic comedy “Just Like a Woman”, the 1994 crime comedy “Requiem Apache”, and the 1998 family fantasy comedy “Jack and the Beanstalk”.

The year 2001 saw her cast as Mrs Weasley in the critically acclaimed 2001 adventure fantasy “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, which starred Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, and which Chris Columbus directed. It follows an orphaned boy who’s just learned that he’s a wizard, and the movie won 19 of its 88 award nominations, including three Oscar nominations. Julie went on to reprise her role in all the Harry Potter movies, including the 2002 “The Chamber of Secrets”, the 2004 “The Prisoner of Azkaban” and the 2007 “The Order of the Phoenix”.

Then in 2008, she portrayed Rosie in the popular romantic musical comedy “Mamma Mia!”, which starred Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep, and was directed by Phyllida Lloyd. It follows a woman who’s about to marry and is thus searching for her real father so that he could walk her to the altar; the movie won 15 of its 42 award nominations.

Julie voiced The Witch in the critically acclaimed 2012 animated adventure comedy “Brave”, and some of her following notable performances were in the 2012 comedy “The Last of the Haussmans”, the 2014 adventure family comedy “Paddington”, and the 2018 musical “Wild Rose”.

Most recently, in 2021, she voiced Granny in the animated family drama “The Abominable Snow Baby”.

Other credits

Julie received special thanks for the 2001 documentary film “’Billy Elliot’: Breaking Free” and the 2017 episode “Julie Walters” of the biographical series “Film Journeys”.

She sang the song “Blackpool!” in the 2013 family adventure comedy “The Harry Hill Movie”, the song “Nowhere to Go But Up” in the 2018 adventure family comedy movie “Mary Poppins Returns”, and the song “Angel Eyes” in the 2019 short comedy movie “Comic Relief: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Yet Again”.

Some of Julie’s most recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Big Audition”, “Dispatches” and “Lorraine”.

Awards and nominations.

Julie’s won 23 of her 76 award nominations, including a 1984 Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Educating Rita”, and the above mentioned 2001 Oscar nomination for “Billy Elliot”.

Some of her wins include a 2005 TV Quick Award for Best Actress for “Ahead of the Class”, a 2006 Moscow International Film Festival Award for Best Actress, for “Driving Lessons” and a 2008 London Critics Circle Film Dilys Powell Award.

Love life and husband

Julie prefers not to speak about her love life in public, and we thus know about only one man whom she’s been with.

She met Grant Roffey, a patrol man for the British motoring association AA at a Fulham pub in London in 1985, and they began dating after he’d been invited to repair Julie’s washing machine. Their friends described them as being ‘madly in love’, and Julie gave birth to their daughter Maisie Mae Roffey on 26 April 1988.

They exchanged vows in a small ceremony in New York City on 2 July 1997, and are today living together on their organic farm in West Sussex, England.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Julie loves soccer, and cheers for the West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

She’s active with the charity organization Women’s Aid, which is mostly into helping women who’ve suffered domestic abuse.

The year 2018 saw Julie diagnosed with stage III bowel cancer; she entered remission after undergoing chemotherapy and surgery. She only revealed that she’d battled cancer in February 2020, and most recently, in March 2023, Julie revealed that she would withdraw from the series “Truelove” because of ill health.

Her daughter Maisie was diagnosed with leukemia when she was only two, and her amazing recovery inspired Julie to write the book “Baby Talk”, published in 1990.

The year 1999 saw Julie being awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and she was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2008, both for services to the entertainment industry.

One of her favorite actresses is Kate Winslet, and some of Julie’s favorite movies include “The Mountain Between us”, “Holy Smoke!” and “Finding Neverland”.

Appearance and net worth

Julie’s age is 73. She has brown eyes and grey hair, is 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall and weighs around 115lbs (52kgs).

Julie’s net worth’s been estimated at over $2 million, as of August 2023.

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