Happy belated birthday, Julie Walters!

I want to wish a belated happy birthday to one of my favourite actresses, and fellow West Midlander, Julie Walters, who celebrated her 61st birthday on 22nd February.

Courtesy of IMDb, Julie Mary Walters was born in Smethwick, West Midlands. Walters’ mother wanted her to pursue nursing and she enrolled at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. However, she eventually gave up nursing when the pull to be an actress proved too strong. She studied at Manchester Polytechnic and joined a theatre company in Liverpool while apprenticing as a stand-up comic.

After appearing on the stage across the UK, Walters’ breakthrough role was in 1983’s Educating Rita. As leading lady Rita White she took home the Best Actress BAFTA, the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. I personally watched Educating Rita in an English class at school.

Walters makes a perfect Mrs Weasley and has appeared in every film in the Harry Potter series bar Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – sadly Mrs Weasley didn’t make an appearance in it.

Apart from her roles on UK television, I particularly loved Walters in Calendar Girls where she portrays Annie Clark, a woman whose husband died of leukemia. Together with her friends at the Women’s Institute, she raises money by way of a naked calendar. A brilliant and touching film, it is based on the true story of the Rylstone and District Women’s Institute.

Due for release in July, Walters will next appear on the silver screen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

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