Multiple BAFTA-winning English actress and writer who first came to international prominence in 1983 for playing the title role in Educating Rita.
Julie 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.
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.
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 appeared in the lead role of Cynthia Payne in the 1987 film Personal Services – a dramatic comedy about a British brothel owner.
In 1991, Walters 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.
Walters also played Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (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 – Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011) and got international success with it.
In the summer of 2006, Walters published her first novel, Maggie’s Tree, and, in summer 2008, Walters appeared in the film version of Mamma Mia!, playing Rosie Mulligan, marking her second high profile musical, after Acorn Antiques.
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.
Julie has won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress four times, for My Beautiful Son (2001), Murder (2002), The Canterbury Tales (2003) and as Mo Mowlam in Mo (2010).