Julie Goodyear

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Julie Goodyear
Julie Kemp

(1942-03-29) 29 March 1942 (age 76)
Bury, Lancashire, England
Years active1966–present
Spouse(s)Ray Sutcliffe (m. 1960; div. 1963)
Tony Rudman (m. 1973; ann. 1974)
Richard Skrob (m. 1985; wid. 1987)
Scott Brand (m. 2007–present)

Julie Goodyear, MBE (born Julie Kemp; 29 March 1942) is an English television actress and media personality. She is known for playing pub landlady Bet Lynch (later Bet Gilroy) on British soap opera Coronation Street.

Goodyear first appeared as Bet Lynch for nine episodes in 1966, before becoming a series regular for twenty-five years from 1970 to 1995. She returned for eight episodes in 2002 and another seven in 2003. For her role on Coronation Street, she received the Special Recognition Award at the 1995 National Television Awards. She was made an MBE in the 1996 New Year Honours.


Goodyear was born in Bury, Lancashire, to George and Alice Kemp, who divorced when Goodyear was six years old. Alice later married Bill Goodyear, from whom Julie received her surname. Goodyear was brought up by her grandmother, Elizabeth Duckworth, who died when Goodyear was thirteen years old. Her grandmother had been missing but her body was later found in a canal. Goodyear has stated that she often felt her grandmother's spirit with her. While in her teens, her parents became publicans at a bar called the Bay Horse. She attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Middleton.

Her autobiography entitled Just Julie was released on 3 November 2006, in which she discussed her relationships with men and women. Goodyear is said to smoke 40 cigarettes-a-day[1]

Among her partners was the late Justin Fashanu, a bisexual footballer who played for clubs including Norwich City and Nottingham Forest, who was nearly 20 years her junior. They were together for a time in the early 1990s,[2] several years before Fashanu committed suicide.[3]

In 1979, she temporarily left Coronation Street for the second of three times after being diagnosed with cervical cancer,[4] something she kept secret from the public until she had recovered. Following her private battle she founded a charity which resulted in formation of the Julie Goodyear Cancer Screening Centre. Goodyear was accused of having "rigged" a prize raffle organised by the charity, but was cleared of the charges at the subsequent court case.[5]


Goodyear has been married four times and had a son when she was 17 by her first husband, with three grandchildren.[6]

Coronation Street[edit]

She is most famous for playing barmaid-turned-proprietor Bet Lynch on the British soap opera Coronation Street. She started playing the role for a brief time in 1966, but left when senior cast member Pat Phoenix (who played Street siren Elsie Tanner) advised her to get some more training. It was at that time she joined Oldham's Repertory Theatre.

Goodyear returned in 1970 and remained with the series for 25 years. In the 1970s, Bet was known for shocking landlady Annie Walker (Doris Speed) by wearing provocative clothing, but by the 1980s, her character became synonymous with outrageous leopard prints and a bleached-blonde beehive hairdo. She quit Coronation Street in 1995, shortly after winning the "Lifetime Achievement Award" for her role as Bet Lynch in the first ever National Television Awards. She returned to the role of Bet in 1999 for the home video spin-off The Rover Returns.

She made a brief but unsuccessful comeback to the show in 2002. Her comeback was intended to boost ratings, and the writers had planned to keep her character back in the show permanently, but the pressure of increased recording schedules led to her departure amid reports of ill-health, and she was written out after just a few episodes. She did, however, return to the show again in 2003, though this time she didn't set foot on the cobbles of Coronation Street itself and her appearances were part of a storyline set in Blackpool that involved Liz McDonald (Beverley Callard) and her husband Jim (Charles Lawson), who had recently escaped from prison.

Career after Coronation Street[edit]

In 1996 she signed a deal for commercials for Shredded Wheat. Other work included filming a pilot of The Julie Goodyear Show for Granada, presenting Live Time on the Granada Breeze network every week day throughout January 1999, and being a DJ on Manchester Talk Radio. In 2001 she appeared in the BBC television comedy sketch series Revolver and on several episodes of the ITV1 game show Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.[7][8][9][10] In 2004 she won the first series of the Living TV reality TV show, I'm Famous and Frightened!.

In 2005, she was one of the celebrities taking part in the popular ITV1 reality TV series, Celebrity Fit Club, alongside Ken Morley. She was originally made team captain but quit the role after six weeks, the role was taken over by Aldo Zilli. She lost 1 stone 10 pounds, and her team won the show. She shocked everyone at the final weigh-in by announcing that in 1979 she had been given a year to live after a diagnosis of cervical cancer, which she survived.[11]

She appeared in the reality shows Road Raja, Age Swap, Celebrity Penthouse and Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes as Marlene Dietrich. She had a small role in the British film Tug of War (2006) and in October 2006 played a brief role in Channel 4's Hollyoaks as Mrs. Temple, owner of a B&B. She recently participated in a Coronation Street special of Come Dine With Me. In October 2009 it was confirmed that she would be starring in Calendar Girls onstage. She appeared in the show for about three weeks before dropping out due to an unspecified virus.[12]

In 2012, Goodyear became a housemate on the tenth series of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5. She was evicted on Day 22 in a double eviction alongside fellow housemate Lorenzo Borghese.

Goodyear confirmed in an interview to New! that she will "never" return to Coronation Street due to her being a "perfectionist" and the schedules are too "gruelling".[This quote needs a citation]


She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1996 New Year Honours, "for services to television drama".[13]


  1. ^ Raymond, Clare (28 October 2006). "My story by Julie Goodyear". Daily Mirror |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ "Profile: The striker who didn't score: Justin Fashanu, dribbling round Westminster". The Independent. 12 February 1994.
  3. ^ "Suicide verdict on footballer Fashanu". BBC News. 9 September 1998.
  4. ^ Soap opera actress in courtroom scenes to rival TV drama
  5. ^ Fansite
  6. ^ Corrie.net
  7. ^ "Series 1, Episode 1". Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 7 January 2001. ITV1. Repeated 22 August 2016 on Challenge.
  8. ^ "ITV Series 1, Episode 4". Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 28 January 2001. ITV. Repeated 23 August 2016 on Challenge TV.
  9. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 8 April 2001. ITV.
  10. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 17 June 2001. ITV.
  11. ^ http://www.express.co.uk/expressyourself/340350/An-end-to-Julie-Goodyear-s-bad-years
  12. ^ Sheridan, Emily (26 November 2009). "Ailing Julie Goodyear pulls out of Calendar Girls ... and is replaced by slimline Hannah Waterman". Daily Mail. London.
  13. ^ "No. 54255". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1995. p. 18.

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