After winning a legion of fans playing down-to-earth and kind-hearted Hayley in Coronation Street for 16 years, Julie Hesmondhalgh left the soap for pastures new, and is currently appearing as Trish in the third series of Broadchurch. Her heartbreaking performance as a rape victim trying to come to terms with her ordeal is blowing viewers away. But there's much more to Julie Hesmondhalgh than Corrie and Broadchurch, as we discovered. Here's why we love her so much! ....
Julie Hesmondhalgh was born in Accrington, Lancashire 25 February 1970. Although she studied drama in London and worked in theatre in the capital after leaving drama school in 1991, she returned to the north and now lives in Tameside, Greater Manchester with her husband Ian and two daughters.
Julie joined Coronation Street in 1998, playing transgender character Hayley. She met Roy Cropper and the pair fell in love and married. Hayley was kind and well-liked on the Street, and the residents of the street were devastated when Hayley was diagnosed with cancer and took her own life, passing away in Roy’s arms.
On the night Hayley passed away on screen, 22 January 2014, Julie won a National Television Award for Best Performance in a Serial Drama. She also picked up a Royal Television Society Award for her role as Sylvia Lancaster, mother of murder victim Sophie Lancaster, in a TV film.
After leaving Corrie, Julie landed the role of Cleo Whitaker in C4 drama Cucumber, playing the no nonsense sister of troubled yet likeable Henry who was having a midlife crisis.
After appearing on a celebrity version of ITV’s The Cube, Julie won £20,000 for her Accrington-based anti-poverty charity Maundy Relief. She later appeared on All Star Mr & Mrs with her husband Ian, again winning £20,000 for the same charity.
Alongside John Thomson and Shane Richie she appeared as Linda in an episode of Moving On called Taxi for Linda. Smooth-talking taxi driver Terry (Shane Richie) woos Linda, but is really after her money – something her colleague Frank (John Thomson) discovers…
Julie is a supporter of the Labour Party, and campaigned for the election of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, speaking at a rally alongside Silk and Dinnerladies actor Maxine Peake.
TREADING THE BOARDS
Julie has made numerous theatre performances, including the stage version of Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster, and most recently played an American Professor of Poetry dying of cancer in the play, Wit.
A lifelong fan of The Smiths and the band’s lead singer, Morrissey, Julie was bowled over when, as a teenager, she bumped into him in a department store called Kendals in Manchester!
Julie popped up in BBC1 drama Happy Valley, playing a midwife, Amanda Wadsworth, who had a fraught relationship with her husband John, with both of them having affairs…and John catching Amanda in bed with another man!
Julie’s acting talent is clearly evident in the new series of Broadchurch, as she plays a rape victim, Trish, who tries to come to terms with her ordeal, as the police try to find out who was responsible. Julie Hesmondhalgh is SUCH a great actor!
Broadchurch is on Mondays, ITV, 9pm