Shannen Findlay


Dame Julie Walters reveals frightening cancer diagnosis

Dame Julie Walters reveals frightening cancer diagnosis

Veteran British actress Julie Walters has revealed she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2018.

The Harry Potter and Mamma Mia! actress says the news of being diagnosed with stage three of the disease left her and her husband, Grant Roffey, in a state of shock.

"I couldn't believe it," she told BBC's Victoria Derbyshire, describing the moment she told her husband as one she would “never forget”.

"I'll never forget his face. And tears came into his eyes," she admitted.

The 69-year-old star says that despite being cleared of the disease around 18 months ago, the diagnosis left her pondering on her life.

Decidedly, she has chosen to be more particular with the workloads and projects she takes on.

The BAFTA-winning actress told Derbyshire that she visited her doctor after suffering from a number of symptoms, including indigestion, stomach pain and vomiting.

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While filming The Secret Garden Walters found out that a CT scan had uncovered an abnormality in her intestine, which specialists feared was cancer.

The star underwent surgery, which removed approximately 30cm of her colon.

 She also underwent chemotherapy – both experiences she detailed as ones that “completely changed” her perspective towards acting.

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"I feel like the person before the operation is different to this person," said Walters, adding that she enjoyed stepping back from her intensive workload.

Walters has been nominated for two Academy Awards — for her supporting roles in Educating Rita and Billy Elliot — and also played Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter movie franchise.

"I'm not saying I'll never act again," Walters said.

Instead, she says she will likely opt not to star in a film that required her to work 14-hour days, five or six days a week.

A recent scan has shown Walters she has fully recovered from her frightening ordeal.

As she moves on to new ventures, the actress says the new “merry-go-round” of acting projects lined up for her has given her a sense of “relief”.