Joanne Whalley

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Joanne Whalley
Born (1961-08-25) 25 August 1961 (age 59)
Salford, England
Other namesJoanne Whalley-Kilmer
Years active1974–present
(m. 1988;div. 1996)

Joanne Whalley (born 25 August 1961 [1] ), credited as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer from 1988 to 1996, is an English actress who began her career in 1974. She has appeared primarily on television, but also in nearly 30 feature films, including Dance with a Stranger (1985), Willow (1988), Scandal (1989), Storyville (1992) The Secret Rapture (1993) and Mother's Boys (1994). Following her marriage to Val Kilmer in 1988, she was credited as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer until their divorce in 1996.


Whalley was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for the 1985 BBC serial Edge of Darkness , and was nominated for a Best Actress Golden Nymph Award at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival for the 2011 series The Borgias . Her other television roles include the 1986 BBC serial The Singing Detective ; playing the title role in the 2000 CBS TV film Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Claudia, wife of Pontius Pilate in the 2015 NBC series A.D. The Bible Continues , and Sister Maggie in Daredevil .

Early life

Whalley was born in Salford, Lancashire, but brought up in Stockport, Cheshire, where she attended Bredbury Comprehensive School, before leaving to study at Harrytown Convent Girls' School in Romiley and the Braeside School of Speech and Drama in Marple. [2]

Whalley first appeared as a child in How We Used To Live and Juliet Bravo , and also had bit parts in soap operas, especially Coronation Street and Emmerdale . Her early film roles include a non-speaking part as a groupie in Pink Floyd's The Wall , and a young Beatles fan in Birth of the Beatles .

Musical career

In the post-punk era, she flirted with the fringes of the Manchester New Wave scene and was briefly a member of a Stockport-based band called the Slowguns, but left before the release of their two singles. Later, she was the lead singer of the pop group Cindy & The Saffrons; they recorded the Shangri-Las' song "Past, Present and Future" in 1982 at Abbey Road Studios and the next year they recorded "Terry" by Twinkle. The group split up soon afterward. [3] In 2003, Whalley appeared on Blink-182's song "Stockholm Syndrome", reading letters between Mark Hoppus’ grandparents.

Acting career

In 1982, she played Ingrid Rothwell in A Kind of Loving , a well-received Granada TV adaptation of Stan Barstow's three Vic Brown novels.

Whalley came to prominence on British television as Emma Craven in Troy Kennedy Martin's Edge of Darkness (1985), then as Nurse Mills in the Dennis Potter-written serial The Singing Detective (1986)both for BBC Television. In 1987 she played Jackie in the TV film Will You Love Me Tomorrow; she also played a role in The Good Father (1985), another Channel 4-backed film.

Whalley met the American actor Val Kilmer in 1987 while filming the fantasy adventure Willow . [4] After their wedding in 1988, she moved to Los Angeles and began using 'Joanne Whalley-Kilmer' as her professional SAG-AFTRA name. She continued filming, making more films in Hollywood than in the UK. In 1989,Whalley-Kilmer played the role of Christine Keeler in Scandal alongside stars John Hurt and Sir Ian McKellen. In 1991 she starred in the mystery noir Shattered .

In 1994, she was the lead actress in Trial By Jury , with co-stars Armand Assante and William Hurt, among others. Also in 1994, she became the second actress to play Gone with the Wind heroine Scarlett O'Hara when she appeared in a made-for-TV adaptation of the sequel novel, Scarlett . She later starred in the 1997 film The Man Who Knew Too Little .

After her divorce from Kilmer in 1996, for personal and professional reasons, she changed her surname back to Whalley. Whalley played the title character in the 2000 television film Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis . She later collaborated with the pop-punk band Blink-182, reading a letter at the beginning of the song "Stockholm Syndrome". In 2005, she appeared as Queen Mary I in The Virgin Queen , a BBC serial about the life of Queen Elizabeth I which also starred Anne-Marie Duff and Tara FitzGerald. That same year she filmed Played which also starred her ex-husband Val Kilmer. However, the two did not share any scenes together. In 2006, she appeared in Life Line, a two-part drama on BBC1, starring opposite Ray Stevenson.

In February 2008, she appeared on stage in Billy Roche's Poor Beast in the Rain presented by the Salem K. Theatre Company at the Matrix Theatre, Los Angeles, California. [5] [6] In that same year, Whalley was also a regular in the ITV mini series Flood with Robert Carlyle amongst others.

In 2011, Whalley played one of the female leads, Vannozza dei Cattanei, mistress of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, future Pope Alexander VI, in the Showtime historical drama The Borgias . [7] She guest-starred as Princess Sophie in season 4 of Gossip Girl . With the cast of 44 Inch Chest , she shared the Best Ensemble Award at the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards 2010. The film reunited her with John Hurt, with whom she had done two previous films. In 2014 she played Aunt Patience in Jamaica Inn for BBC One. In 2015, she played Claudia, the wife of Pontius Pilate, in A.D. The Bible Continues , and Queen Catherine of Aragon in the BBC miniseries Wolf Hall.

In 2018, she appeared in the third season of Daredevil as Sister Maggie.

In 2020, Whalley starred in the Eleanor Coppola film Love Is Love Is Love . It was scheduled to have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2020, but the festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film is rescheduled for its world premiere at the Deauville American Film Festival in September. [8] [9]

Personal life

Whalley met US actor Val Kilmer while filming the movie Willow . [4] The couple married in 1988. Whalley took a break from filming to bring up her two children with Kilmer. Mercedes was born on 29 October 1991 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and her son Jack was born on 6 June 1995. Shortly after that, the pair separated. Whalley filed for divorce on 21 July 1995, citing irreconcilable differences.



1982 Pink Floyd – The Wall Groupie
1985 Dance with a Stranger Christine
No Surrender Cheryl
The Good Father Mary Hall
1988 Willow Sorsha
To Kill a Priest Anna
1989 Scandal Christine Keeler as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
Kill Me Again Fay Forresteras Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
1990 Navy SEALs Claire Varrensas Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
The Big Man Beth Scoularas Joanne Whalley-Kilmer; also known as Crossing the Line
1991 Shattered Jenny Scottas Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
Storyville Natalie Tateas Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
1993 The Secret Rapture Katherine Coleridgeas Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
1994 Mother's Boys Colleen 'Callie' Harlandas Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
A Good Man in Africa Celia Adekunleas Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
Trial by Jury Valerie Alstonas Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
1997 The Man Who Knew Too Little Lori
1999A Texas FuneralMiranda
2000 The Guilty Natalie Crane
BreathtakingCaroline Henshow
2002 Before You Go Mary
Virginia's Run Jessie Eastwood
2005 The Californians Luna
2006 Played Maggie
2007 Flood Commissioner Patricia Nash
2009 44 Inch Chest Liz Diamond
2011 Golf in the Kingdom Agatha McNaughton
Twixt Denise
2017 Muse Jacqueline
2018 Paul, Apostle of Christ Priscilla
2020 Love Is Love Is Love Joanne


1974, 1976 Coronation Street Pamela Graham3 episodes
1975JobyMolly McLeod ITV Yorkshire television film
1976, 1978 Crown Court Janice Scott/Linda Mason3 episodes
1977 Emmerdale Farm Angela Read6 episodes
1976–79 How We Used to Live Marjorie Dawson/Sarah Hughes20(?) episodes
1978 The One and Only Phyllis Dixey Doris ITV television film
1979 Omnibus Little Red Riding Hood/Madge2 episodes
1980 ITV Playhouse LindseyEpisode: "Too Close to the Edge"
Juliet Bravo Maureen MaskellEpisode: "Shot Gun"
Scene EvelynEpisode: "And Mum Came Too"
1980–81Coming HomeTravel agent2 episodes
1981 The Gaffer NancyEpisode: "The Trouble with Women"
NoddyMaryTelevision film
1982A Kind of LovingIngrid Rotherwell (Brown)Main role, 8 episodes
The Gentle Touch DanyEpisode: "Dany"
1983 Bergerac Christine BoltonEpisode: "Always Leave Them Laughing"
Reilly, Ace of Spies Ulla ITV television miniseries; episode: "The Visiting Fireman"
1984 A Christmas Carol Fan (Ebenezer's sister) CBS television film
1985 Edge of Darkness Emma Craven6 episodes
1986 The Singing Detective Nurse Mills6 episodes
1987 Screen Two JackieSeries 3, TV film: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"
1994 Scarlett Scarlett O'Hara CBS television miniseries; Lead role; as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
2000Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis CBS television film
Run the Wild FieldsRuby Miller Showtime Original television film
2005 The Virgin Queen Mary I Television miniseries
Child of MineTess PalmerTV film
2009 Diverted Marion Price CBC television miniseries
2011–12 Gossip Girl Princess Sophie Grimaldi7 episodes
2011–13 The Borgias Vanozza Cattaneo Main role, 25 episodes
2013 The Challenger Disaster Gweneth Feynman BBC television film; also known as The Challenger Disaster
2014 Jamaica Inn Patience Merlyn BBC One television miniseries
2015 Wolf Hall Catherine of Aragon BBC Two television miniseries
The Ark Emmie BBC One television film
A.D. The Bible Continues Claudia, wife of Pontius Pilate Main role, 12 episodes
2016 Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands RhedaMain role, 13 episodes
2017 The White Princess Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy Television miniseries
2018 Daredevil Sister Maggie [10] Main role, season 3
2020 Tin Star Mary James

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