Birthplace: Salford, Lancashire, England
Joanne Whalley (born 25 August 1961) is an English actress who began her career in 1974. She has since amassed numerous credits, primarily on television, but also in nearly 30 feature films, including Dance with a Stranger (1985), Willow (1988), Scandal (1989), 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 Maggie Murdock in Daredevil.
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.
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.
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), 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 while filming the fantasy adventure Willow, and after marriage in 1988 moved to Los Angeles, where she used as her professional name Joanne Whalley-Kilmer. She continued filming, making more films in Hollywood than in 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 did not 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.
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. She guest-starred as Princess Sophie in season 4 of Gossip Girl. She shared with the cast of 44 Inch Chest, the Best Ensemble Award at the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards 2010. The film reunited her with John Hurt. 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.
In 2018, she appeared in the third season of Daredevil as Matt Murdock's mother Sister Maggie.
Whalley met the American actor Val Kilmer while filming the fantasy adventure Willow. 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 who 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|
|1985||The Good Father||Mary Hall|
|1988||To Kill a Priest||Anna|
|1989||Scandal||Christine Keeler||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1989||Kill Me Again||Fay Forrester||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1990||Navy SEALs||Claire Varrens||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1990||The Big Man||Beth Scoular||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer; also known as Crossing the Line|
|1991||Shattered||Jenny Scott||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1991||Storyville||Natalie Tate||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1993||The Secret Rapture||Katherine Coleridge||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1994||Mother's Boys||Colleen 'Callie' Harland||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1994||A Good Man in Africa||Celia Adekunle||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1994||Trial by Jury||Valerie Alston||as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|1997||The Man Who Knew Too Little||Lori|
|1999||A Texas Funeral||Miranda|
|2000||The Guilty||Natalie Crane|
|2002||Before You Go||Mary|
|2002||Virginia's Run||Jessie Eastwood|
|2007||Flood||Commissioner Patricia Nash|
|2009||44 Inch Chest||Liz Diamond|
|2011||Golf in the Kingdom||Agatha McNaughton|
|2018||Paul, Apostle of Christ||Priscilla|
|1974, 1976||Coronation Street||Pamela Graham||3 episodes|
|1975||Joby||Molly McLeod||ITV Yorkshire television film|
|1976, 1978||Crown Court||Janice Scott/Linda Mason||3 episodes|
|1977||Emmerdale Farm||Angela Read||6 episodes|
|1976-79||How We Used To Live||Marjorie Dawson/Sarah Hughes||20(?) episodes|
|1978||The One and Only Phyllis Dixey||Doris||ITV television film|
|1979||Omnibus||Little Red Riding Hood/Madge||2 episodes|
|1980||ITV Playhouse||Lindsey||Episode: "Too Close to the Edge"|
|1980||Juliet Bravo||Maureen Maskell||Episode: "Shot Gun"|
|1980||Scene||Evelyn||Episode: "And Mum Came Too"|
|1980-81||Coming Home||Travel agent||2 episodes|
|1981||The Gaffer||Nancy||Episode: "The Trouble with Women"|
|1982||A Kind of Loving||Ingrid Rotherwell (Brown)||Main role, 8 episodes|
|1982||The Gentle Touch||Dany||Episode: "Dany"|
|1983||Bergerac||Christine Bolton||Episode: "Always Leave Them Laughing"|
|1983||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 Craven||5 episodes|
|1986||The Singing Detective||Nurse Mills||6 episodes|
|1987||Screen Two||Jackie||Series 3, TV film: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"|
|1994||Scarlett||Scarlett O'Hara||CBS television miniseries; Lead role; as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer|
|2000||Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis||Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis||CBS television film|
|2000||Run the Wild Fields||Ruby Miller||Showtime Original television film|
|2005||The Virgin Queen||Mary I||Television miniseries|
|2009||Diverted||Marion Price||CBC television miniseries|
|2011-12||Gossip Girl||Princess Sophie Grimaldi||7 episodes|
|2011-13||The Borgias||Vanozza Cattaneo||Main role, 25 episodes|
|2013||The Challenger||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|
|2015||The Ark||Emmie||BBC One television film|
|2015||A.D. The Bible Continues||Claudia, wife of Pontius Pilate||Main role, 12 episodes|
|2016||Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands||Rheda||Main role, 13 episodes|
|2017||The White Princess||Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy||Television miniseries|
|2018||Daredevil||Sister Maggie||(season 3)|