At the Polytechnic she formed a very strong friendship with a Victoria Wood; little did she know the professional consequences of this relationship. When she had finished studying, Julie joined a theatre company (Everyman) in Liverpool which was headed by Jonathan Pryce and concentrated on bringing live theatre into the heart of the community; a variety of talented actors would perform in a diverse number of venues such as schools, clubs and pubs. She was a member of the Vanload troup and the company eventually expanded and soon started formulating pieces for the television and more recognised stage venues. Julie performed in a number of TV plays, including Breezeblock Park and Me! I’m Afraid of Virginia Woolf. She also appeared in stage productions of As You Like It, The Glad Hand and In At The Death; the latter featuring the rising star Victoria Wood. They had such a strong partnership that the Wood and Walters show (Granada TV, 1982) was launched.
In 1985 in a London bar she met a sociology student, Grant Roffey, and they had a child, Maisie in 1988. Maisie suffered from Leukemia at the age of three and this trauma spurred Julie to write a book called Baby Talk. She took time off during Maisie’s illness and did not return to acting until her daughter was in remission. Julie and Grant married in 1997 in New York and they now own a 70-acre organic farm in Sussex.
The 90’s proved to also be a very busy decade for the talented actress. She starred in Stepping Out and Wide-Eyed And Legless (also featuring Jim Broadbent), both of which led to BAFTA nominations. In 1998, Julie and Blenda Blethyn appeared in Girl’s Night, originally made for TV but considered elite enough to feature on the stage. Blethyn’s character was diagnosed with cancer and the opinionated character played by Julie is forced to learn a lot about life.
Julie was reunited with Victoria Wood in the comedy series Dinnerladies (1998) which proved to be very popular here in the UK and received much recognition and many awards. She won an OBE in 1999 for her services to drama.
Next she will be in the film adaptation of Mamma Mia, the ABBA musical, and the film will also star Meryl Streep. Throughout her career she has made over 72 TV and film appearances and is so popular within the entertainment industry that she is sure to remain so for many years yet.