Joanne Whalley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Joanne Whalley
Born (1964-08-25) 25 August 1964 (age 50)
Salford, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actress
Years active 1975–present
Spouse(s) Val Kilmer (m. 1988; div. 1996)

Joanne Whalley (born 25 August 1964)[1][2][3] is an English actress who started with adolescent roles in mid-1970s and, over the following decades, amassed numerous credits, primarily on television, but also in nearly 40 theatrical and television films, including the title role in CBS' Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, broadcast in November 2000. A leading role in six-episode 1985 eco-thriller Edge of Darkness earned her a British Academy Television Award for Best Actress nomination. She shared with the cast of 44 Inch Chest the Best Ensemble Performance Award at the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards 2010 and was nominated for Monte-Carlo Television Festival's Golden Nymph Award as Best Actress in 2011's The Borgias. After her marriage to actor Val Kilmer, she was credited as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer for some years.

Early life[edit]

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 Bredbury and the Braeside School of Speech and Drama in Marple.[4]

Whalley first appeared as a child in How We Used To Live and Juliet Bravo with 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 as a young Beatles fan in Birth of the Beatles.


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; in 1982, at Abbey Road Studios they recorded the Shangri-Las' song "Past, Present and Future" and the next year, "Terry" by Twinkle. The group split up soon thereafter.[5]


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 acted in the film No Surrender (Dumbarton Films with Film Four) scripted by Alan Bleasdale, released in 1985, but the film was not successful.

Whalley came to prominence on British television as Emma Craven in Troy Kennedy Martin's Edge of Darkness (1985), quickly followed by 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 while filming the fantasy adventure Willow,[6] and after marriage in 1988 moved to Los Angeles, where she used the professional name Joanne Whalley-Kilmer. She continued filming, making more films in Hollywood than the UK, including the mystery noir Shattered and, in 1989, the role of Christine Keeler in Scandal alongside stars John Hurt and Sir Ian McKellen. 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 also starred in the 1997 film The Man Who Knew Too Little.

After divorce, Whalley returned to acting through making television films, including the 2000 television film Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in which she played the title character. She collaborated with the pop-punk band Blink-182 to read 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. The same year she also filmed Played which also starred her ex-husband Val Kilmer but the two didn't share any scenes. In 2006, she appeared in Life Line, a two-part drama on BBC1, starring opposite Ray Stevenson. In 2008, she appeared in the ITV mini series Flood with Robert Carlyle amongst others.

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.[7][8]

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.[9] She guest-starred as Princess Sophie in season 4 of Gossip Girl. In 2010 she was reunited with John Hurt in 44 Inch Chest. She played Aunt Patience in Jamaica Inn for BBC One in 2014. In 2015, she played Claudia, the wife of Pontius Pilate, in A.D.: The Bible Continues.

Personal life[edit]

Whalley met the American actor Val Kilmer while filming the fantasy adventure Willow.[10] The couple married in 1988, and she used the name Joanne Whalley-Kilmer professionally for several years.

Whalley took a break from filming to bring up her two children with Kilmer: daughter Mercedes (born 29 October 1991, in Santa Fe, New Mexico), and son Jack (born on 6 June 1995).

Shortly after the birth of their son, the pair separated. Whalley filed for divorce on 21 July 1995, citing irreconcilable differences. (Whalley and Kilmer play a bickering couple in Francis Ford Coppola's 2011 film Twixt.)



  1. ^ "Now and Then – Stockport Local Heritage Library Newsletter – Autumn 2010". Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  2. ^ John Patterson (27 January 2010). "Joanne Whalley: Here comes trouble". Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "A star with a child in her eyes". The Times (London). 12 November 2005. 
  4. ^ "Joanne Whalley-Kilmer - Celebrity information". Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  5. ^ from The Great Rock Discography via Google Books - link broken 17.4.10
  6. ^ Val Kilmer at
  7. ^ Gene Franklin Smith. "Salem K Theatre Company - Poor Beast in the Rain". Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "**Exclusive Allrounder**, Joanne Whalley Photos". Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Showtime Taps Cox, Linney for Two New Series". 
  10. ^ Val Kilmer at

External links[edit]