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Dame Julie Walters Reveals Bowel Cancer Diagnosis

Dame Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) has publicly revealed that she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2018 but that, fortunately, her recent scans have come back clear.

The actress, who was named a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2017, made the revelation in a recent interview with the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire.

Walters explained that she was initially shocked by the diagnosis, which came after she was referred to a gastric surgeon.

I was still thinking, ‘That’s ridiculous, he must have made a mistake’. I couldn’t believe it.

Although diagnosed with stage III bowel cancer, Walters was able to undergo an operation to remove the tumors and part of her large intestine. She also underwent chemotherapy, which did not cause hair loss.

Since Walters was undergoing cancer treatment during the filming of The Secret Garden, her role as Mrs. Medlock was reduced. She additionally noted that The Secret Garden could be her last film, owing to the stress of a hectic filming schedule.

I’m not saying I’ll never act again. But I certainly don’t think I can go back to [a film that requires working] six days a week, five in the morning till seven o’clock at night.

Walters’s absence from the premiere of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was also due to her treatment (rather than due to a “ruptured hernia,” as was reported by her agent at the time).

You can watch a clip from Walters’s interview with Derbyshire below.


In the interview, Walters addressed the stigma of bowel cancer, urging the public to “go and get things checked” if exhibiting symptoms.

Your bowel is part of your digestive system; it’s just what digests your food. Think of that.

Doctors are used to bottoms. They’ve got one themselves.

While cancer is a serious and often frightening subject, we’re glad to hear that one of our favorite dames is doing well. For more information on bowel cancer, visit Bowel Cancer UK.

Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.