Julie Walters is set to be given a prestigious BAFTA Fellowship next month. BBC News reports that Walters will be recognized for her contribution to film and TV, where she first gained recognition partnering with the comedian Victoria Wood in shows such as Wood and Walters.
She would later go on to receive an Oscar nomination for her role in Educating Rita opposite Michael Caine. Walters said on hearing the news,
I’m completely honoured and thrilled. I got a letter just saying, ‘you’ve been chosen; would you accept it?’
That was it. It was just like an email, and I emailed them back and said, ‘yeah, great!’
In a statement, she added that she had “worked with some brilliant people over the years” and had been “very fortunate to have had the opportunities to work on such a variety of projects.”
Walters, who was made a CBE in 2008, originally trained as a nurse before studying English and drama and going to work for the Everyman Theatre Group in Liverpool. She gained international stardom with the 1983 film Educating Rita, where she played a working class woman who turns to academia to try to better her life. She was awarded with a BAFTA and Golden Globe award for her performance. She would later win another BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for the 2001 film Billy Elliot.
She won the best actress award at the BAFTA TV Awards for three consecutive years between 2002 and 2004, for her roles in My Beautiful Son, Murder, and The Canterbury Tales. She was given the award again in 2010 for her portrayal of Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam.
Chief Executive of BAFTA Amanda Berry called Walters “one of the most talented individuals to grace our screens.”
She has the innate ability to draw the viewer in across any genre, captivating and entertaining with every performance. Julie is thoroughly deserving of the Fellowship, the highest honour the Academy can bestow.
Walters will receive the award at this year’s BAFTA TV Awards at the Theatre Royal in London on May 18. Previous recipients include Dame Helen Mirren, Dawn French (who portrayed the Fat Lady in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Michael Palin, and Richard Curtis. The ceremony will be broadcast in the UK on BBC1.
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