Julie Goodyear, Order of the British Empire (MBE) (born Julie Kemp 29 March 1942) is an iconic English television actress and personality.


Born 'Julie Kemp' to her parents George and Alice Kemp. Julie's parents divorced when Julie was a mere toddler and her mother married William 'Bill' Goodyear, changing Julie's surname to Goodyear upon her marriage.

Her private life - multiple marriages, scandals, claims of lesbianism - have made her off-screen life as colourful and as seemingly tragic as her on-screen life. Famously, a cartoon appeared in the British newspaper the Daily Mail, which had the director of Coronation Street ripping up the script and saying "Forget the script - just keep talking about your private life."

She was accused - and exonerated - of attempting to defraud her own cancer charity by fixing a prize draw. It seemed that for a time, in the 1970s, Julie's life was as complicated and as fraught as Bet Lynch's.

She was awarded the MBE on 1 January 1996 in the New Year's Honours List.

Her autobiography entitled Just Julie was released on November 3, 2006. In it she talks about her relationships with men and women.[1]

Coronation Street

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 Patricia Phoenix advised her to get some more training. It was at that time she joined Oldham Repertory Theatre.

Goodyear returned in 1970 and played, arguably, the Rovers' most famous barmaid until retiring in 1995. In the 1970s, her character was known for shocking manageress Annie Walker by wearing provocative clothing, but by the 1980s her character became synonymous with outrageous leopard prints and a bleached-blonde beehive hairdo. Since her retirement from the Street, she has returned for brief periods in 1999, 2002 and 2003.

She quit Coronation Street in 1995 just after winning the "Lifetime Achievement Award" for her role as Bet Lynch in the first ever National Television Awards. She returned to the Street in 1999 for two weeks to star in a special week of episodes.

She made a brief but unsuccessful comeback to the show in the 2002; her comeback was set to put Coronation Street back on top of the ratings, as at the time it was being routinely beaten in the ratings by rival BBC soap Eastenders. The writers had planned to keep her character in the show permanently, but the pressure of rehearsals and recording schedules led to accusations of ill-discipline and unprofessionalism. Amid reports of ill-health, she was written out after just a few episodes.

Yet again, Bet Lynch returned to the show one last time for another special two weeks of episodes in 2003 - but this time she didn't set foot on the cobbles of Coronation Street; the whole storyline that she was involved in was set in Blackpool, where her character got involved in her good friend Liz McDonald's problems, when Liz's husband Jim escapes from prison.

Career after the Street

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, and being a DJ on Manchester Talk Radio. In 2001 she appeared in the BBC television comedy sketch series Revolver. 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 friend 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 1979/80 she was given a year to live, having being diagnosed with cervical cancer, of which she was to make a full recovery. Grateful to the Christie Hospital in Manchester, yet appalled by the primitive conditions the doctors had to work in, she started a charity which culminated in the formation of the Julie Goodyear Cancer Screening Centre.

She has also appeared in the reality shows Road Raja, Age Swap, Celebrity Penthouse and Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes as Marlene Dietrich.

On December 13 on Wednesday 2005 she appeared on Paul O'Grady's chat show.

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 has made numerous appearances in pantomime - including a stunning performance as Widow Twankey in "Aladdin" at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool written by Ian Billings.

She has also appeared on the revived version of the show, All Star Mr. And Mrs. On 7/5/08 she presented award for the British Soap Awards.

On Friday 23 May 2008 she re-appeared on Paul O'Grady's show for the 500th Episode special.


  1. Raymond, Clare (October 28, 2006), “My story by Julie Goodyear”, The Daily Mirror 

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