|Full Name Susan Wright|
Children Joel Pammenter
|Years active 1980-present|
Grandchildren Rory Pammenter
Name Sue Johnston
|Born 7 December 1943 (age 72) (1943-12-07) Warrington, Lancashire, England|
Television Brookside The Royle Family Waking the Dead Jam and Jerusalem Coronation Street Being Eileen Downton Abbey
Spouse David Pammenter (m. 1976–1980)
Parents Fred Wright, Margaret Jane Wright
Movies and TV shows The Royle Family, Waking the Dead, Downton Abbey, Brookside, Imagine Me & You
Similar People Ricky Tomlinson, Caroline Aherne, Trevor Eve, Craig Cash, Claire Goose
sue johnston tribute
Sue Johnston OBE (born Susan Wright; born 7 December 1943) is an English actress known for playing Sheila Grant in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside (1982–1990), Barbara Royle in the BBC comedy The Royle Family (1998–2012), Grace Foley in the BBC drama Waking the Dead (2000–2011), Gloria Price in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street (2012–2014) and Miss Denker in the ITV drama Downton Abbey (2014–2015). She won the 2000 British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actress and was nominated for the 2000 BAFTA TV Award for Best Comedy Performance for The Royle Family.
- sue johnston tribute
- Sue Johnston Talks Football Corrie And The Royle Family This Morning
- Early life
- Acting career
- Personal life
Sue Johnston Talks Football, Corrie And The Royle Family | This Morning
Johnston was born in Warrington, Lancashire and grew up in Prescot, also in Lancashire. She was the daughter of Fred and Margaret Jane Wright (née Cowan). She was educated at Whiston Infants School, Eccleston Park Junior School and Prescot and Huyton Grammar School for Girls which she left aged 17 after one year of her A-level course, having decided to become an actress.
After working as a Higher Grade tax inspector, when her boyfriend was one of the pop group The Swinging Blue Jeans, she worked for Brian Epstein. From the age of 21, Johnston attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Johnston made her television debut, aged 38, with a minor recurring role on Coronation Street in the summer of 1982. She played the role of Mrs. Chadwick, the wife of a bookmaker.
From 1982 to 1990, she appeared as Sheila Grant in the soap opera Brookside. She appeared in the show's first ever episode on 2 November 1982 – aired on the day that Channel 4 went on air – and her last episode was aired in September 1990, when the character was written out of the series following her divorce from Bobby Grant (Ricky Tomlinson) and remarriage to Billy Corkhill (John McArdle).
Since then she has appeared in many drama series and films, including Inspector Morse, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, Brassed Off and My Uncle Silas. In 1992, Johnston appeared in the three-part award-winning drama Goodbye Cruel World, in which she portrayed a woman coming to terms with a muscle-wasting illness.
Johnston may be best known as Barbara Royle in the BBC comedy series The Royle Family, appearing with her former on-screen husband in Brookside, Ricky Tomlinson, from the show's inception in September 1998 until it ended at Christmas 2000. She also appeared in a one-off special which aired in October 2006. From 2000-11, she starred in the television series Waking the Dead, in which she played the role of psychological profiler Grace Foley, alongside Trevor Eve.
In 2004, she appeared in one episode of the series, Who Do You Think You Are?, in which she traced her family tree.
She starred in Jennifer Saunders's comedy drama Jam & Jerusalem on BBC One, alongside Joanna Lumley, Maggie Steed and David Mitchell. The first series aired in 2006, the second series began on New Year's Day 2008 and the third in August 2009. Also in 2008, she played Affery Flintwinch in the BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit. In May 2008 it was confirmed Johnston would return as Barbara Royle for another episode of The Royle Family, which aired on Christmas Day 2008 on BBC One. The show returned for further Christmas specials in 2009, 2010 and 2012. She shared a role with Billie Piper in the television adaptation of A Passionate Woman which aired on BBC One on 11 April 2010.
On 2 April 2012, Coronation Street series producer Phil Collinson announced Johnston had joined the soap opera as Gloria, the mother of Stella Price (played by Michelle Collins). She made her first screen appearance on 5 September 2012. It was announced in June 2013 that Johnston would leave the soap opera in 2014 to pursue other acting roles. She departed on 21 February 2014.
In December 2011, she played Eileen Lewis in the BBC one-off drama Lapland, a role which she reprised in 2013 for a series, Being Eileen.
In May 2014 it was announced that Johnston will guest star in the fifth series of the period drama Downton Abbey. She will play Denker, a lady's maid to the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Maggie Smith. Johnston currently portrays Julie in the BBC Radio 4 series Love in Recovery.
Johnston has campaigned on behalf of the Labour Party and has been a long-time gay rights campaigner. She is a supporter of Liverpool F.C. and Warrington RLFC.
In 1967, she married her first husband Neil Johnston and became pregnant at the age of 24. She suffered a miscarriage shortly after and the couple later divorced but she kept his surname as her professional name. She has one son Joel from her second marriage to David Pammenter. She has one grandchild.
Despite playing the role of heavy smoker Barbara Royle in The Royle Family, Johnston gave up smoking in 1978, but had to smoke low-tar cigarettes while playing the role. Johnston is opposed to smoking.
Johnston was appointed OBE in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours. In November 2010, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by University of Chester at Chester Cathedral.
In 1989 Johnston, assisted by Lesley Thomson, published her first book, a memoir titled Hold on to the Messy Times. In 2011, she published another memoir titled Things I Couldn't Tell My Mother.
In 1970, Johnston was sexually attacked at the age of 27 which inspired her storyline in Brookside as Sheila Grant, where she was raped.
In her autobiography, Things I Couldn't Tell My Mother, she states that she was originally going to be called Margaret Jane Wright, after her mother and grandmother, but her father thought that it would be best to call her Susan.