Sue Johnston

Sue Johnston

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1943-12-07 (77 years old) · Gender: Female · Place of Birth: Warrington, Cheshire, England, UK

30 Movies · 27 TV shows

Biography

Susan Johnston, OBE (née 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 (1998–2000, 2006, 2008–2010, 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.

Personal Life

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 St Helens R.F.C..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 two grandchildren.Johnston is strongly opposed to smoking. 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. This was because the cast and crew including Johnston could not stand the smell of herbal cigarettes. In fact, in most episodes of The Royle Family, Johnston's character Barbara when lighting a cigarette did not actually inhale. She also seldom actually put the cigarette to her lips. In all the Christmas specials Johnson's character Barbara was not seen to smoke at all.Johnston was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 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.

Early Life

Johnston was born in Warrington, Lancashire, and grew up in Prescot, also in Lancashire. She is the daughter of Fred and Margaret Jane Wright (née Cowan).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.

Movies & TV shows

2021.

1 TV show
TV
Time

Time

2021
Time looks at life in the British penal system through the eyes of two very different men. Mark wasn't with his family. Those in Eric's care are protected. One of the most dangerous inmates has a weak...

2019.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
The Cure

The Cure

2019
The story of an ordinary woman who exposed one of the worst hospital care scandals in the history of the NHS. Based on the inspiring real-life story of Julie Bailey.
TV
The Cockfields

The Cockfields

2019
Donna and Simon will be going back to the Isle of Wight for the first time. Can he survive a long birthday weekend with his family?

2018.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
Death on the Tyne

Death on the Tyne

2018
Draper's Tours are taking Mildred and her care home friends on an overnight ferry trip from North Shields to Amsterdam, where things will quickly turn turbulent as the passengers and crew begin to get...
TV
Age Before Beauty

Age Before Beauty

2018
Bel, after spending the past 18 years as a homemaker, steps in to save the family business in a failing family run beauty salon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Family feuds and bitter rivalries, pro...
Walk Like a Panther

Walk Like a Panther

2018
When the local pub is threatened with closing, a group of 1980s wrestlers are forced to wear spandex for the last time.

2017.

1 Movie
Diana and the Paparazzi

Diana and the Paparazzi

2017
Marking the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana in a car crash in Paris in August 1997, this documentary reveals how Diana learned to manipulate and control the photographers who pursued h...

2016.

3 Movies · 1 TV show
World Cup 1966: Alfie's Boys

World Cup 1966: Alfie's Boys

2016
A retelling of England's only World Cup victory, fifty years later, placing special emphasis on the work of manager Sir Alf Ramsey.
Golden Years

Golden Years

2016
The pensions crisis and a steadfast refusal to accept the injustice of old age have forced Arthur and Martha Goode into a life of crime.
British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves

British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves

2016
Documentary celebrating the British sitcom and taking a look at the social and political context from which our favourite sitcoms grew. We enjoy a trip through the comedy archive in the company of the...
TV
Rovers

Rovers

2016
Established in 1884, Redbridge Rovers F.C. are one of the oldest club's in England - and one of the worst. A sitcom that introduces us to the characters who gather within the social club of a non-leag...

2015.

2 Movies
Downton Abbey: Christmas Special 2015

Downton Abbey: Christmas Special 2015

2015
There is a two-hour Christmas special. Edith's secret continues to pose a threat as Mary tries to build bridges with her sister. Finding his place at Downton is more difficult as Henry settles into th...
The Nation's Favourite Beatles Number One

The Nation's Favourite Beatles Number One

2015
The Nation’s Favourite Beatles Number One tells the stories behind some of the greatest Beatles songs ever. With interviews from Beatles’ insiders including musicians, friends, fellow performers and c...

2013.

1 TV show
TV
Being Eileen

Being Eileen

2013
Being Eileen began as a new six-part series on February 4th and ended on March 11th. The first broadcast of the series was in the United Kingdom on December 24, 2011. Due to the success of the single ...

2012.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
Barbara's Old Ring

Barbara's Old Ring

2012
Christmas is coming but Barbara is not happy. Not only has she lost her wedding ring but Jim has won on a scratch card she found down the back of the sofa whilst looking for the ring and has kept quie...
TV
Gates

Gates

2012
Gates is a British comedy television series shown on the Sky Living channel. The first series of 5 episodes ran from 14 August to 11 September 2012. The show was originally due to be broadcast on Sky...

2011.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Sugartown

Sugartown

2011
A comedy drama revolving around a small seaside hamlet in the north of England, as a former resident returns with big plans for the community's re-development.
Lapland

Lapland

2011
A group of people, including a recently widowed Eileen Lewis, are leaving Birkenhead to spend Christmas in Lapland.

2010.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
The Royle Family: Behind the Sofa

The Royle Family: Behind the Sofa

2010
The creation of The Royle Family is discussed with a look behind the scenes at the production and interviews with the cast.
Joe's Crackers

Joe's Crackers

2010
They worry that Anthony's gifts will show them up.
TV
A Passionate Woman

A Passionate Woman

2010
1950s period drama based on the true story of a housewife and mother whose life is turned upside down by a handsome Polish man at her local dance hall.

2009.

2 Movies
The Golden Egg Cup

The Golden Egg Cup

2009
Jim and Barbara have received the gift of money from their children - but what to do with it? Barbara wants to finally go abroad, while Jim favours buying an HD satellite box.
The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw

2009
Ann is sent to a country house to take care of two orphans. After her arrival, she was kicked out of the school. Although enamored by her young charge, she secretly fears there are ominous reasons beh...

2008.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit

6
2008
Amy Dorrit is looking after her father who is in a London prison. Arthur Clennam, Amy's employer's son, returns from overseas to solve a mystery in his family's past.
The New Sofa

The New Sofa

2008
The hit family sitcom has a festive special edition. The chef decided to cook Christmas dinner for the whole family. Dave's mother and father are invited to join the festivities after Jim gave the yul...

2007.

1 TV show
TV
The Alan Titchmarsh Show

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

2007
The Alan Titchmarsh Show is hosted by Alan Titchmarsh. It was first broadcasted on ITV on September 3, 2007. The show's main focus is the "Best of British" theme with many of the shows' segments focus...

2006.

1 Movie · 3 TV shows
TV
The One Show

The One Show

2006
A magazine-style daily television programme is broadcasted on the UK's most popular television channel. The programme is hosted by Alex Jones and Matt Baker from Monday to Thursday and Chris Evans on ...
TV
The Street

The Street

5
2006
The lives and passions of neighbors on a northern English street are the subject of a anthology drama.
The Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba

2006
Tension mounts in the Royle household as the family contemplates the prospect of becoming fully laminated throughout. Dr Mahmoud prescribes new medication for Nana in the form of yellow tablets; coinc...
TV
Jam & Jerusalem

Jam & Jerusalem

2006
Jam & Jerusalem aired on the British Broadcasting Corporation's One channel from 2006 to 2009. It starred David Mitchell, Dawn French, and SallyPhillips. The earlier episodes starred Lumley and Mantle...

2005.

1 Movie
Imagine Me & You

Imagine Me & You

6.5
2005
At her wedding, Rachel fell in love with her. Despite her happy marriage, Rachel is still in love with a lesbian. As she questions her sexual orientation, Rachel must make a decision between her relat...

2004.

3 TV shows
TV
The Paul O'Grady Show

The Paul O'Grady Show

2004
A British comedy chat show hosted by a Birkenhead-born comedian is called The Paul O'Grady Show. The format was created by Granada Television and was broadcast on ITV before moving to Channel 4. A mix...
TV
Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing

6
2004
The celebrities are dancing. The celebrities who are kicked out of the competition are determined by the judges scores and viewer votes.
TV
Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

2004
A British genealogy documentary series in which celebrities discover secrets from their past.

2001.

2 Movies
Score

Score

2001
Comedy about a Sunday League football team who win the Lottery.
New Year's Day

New Year's Day

2001
Two 17-year-old boys mark the new year with dangerous but exciting tasks set for them by their friends.

2000.

2 TV shows
TV
Sex, Chips & Rock n' Roll

Sex, Chips & Rock n' Roll

2000
Sex, Chips & Rock n' Roll is a six-part mini-series that was written and directed by John Woods. In 2005, it was adapted into a stage musical and played at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre.
TV
Waking the Dead

Waking the Dead

4.67
2000
A detective team uses new techniques to solve old crimes.

1999.

1 Movie
Sex, Chips & Rock n' Roll

Sex, Chips & Rock n' Roll

1999
The drama is about growing up in the '60s. In 1965, Manchester, England. "You won't find anyone worth knowing working at the chip shop," says the granny. The sisters meet The Ice Cubes, a struggling r...

1998.

3 Movies · 2 TV shows
TV
Duck Patrol

Duck Patrol

1998
Duck Patrol is a British television comedy series that originally aired in 1998. Produced by LWT for the ITV network, it centered around a river police station by the River Thames. The script for the...
TV
The Royle Family

The Royle Family

6
1998
The lives of a working class family in Manchester are the focus of a British comedy series.
The Jump

The Jump

1998
Donna married into a Mafia family and thought her husband was the diamond in the rough. After his arrest, she sees layers of him beneath her worst fears and finds herself fighting for her sanity.
The Things You Do for Love: Against the Odds

The Things You Do for Love: Against the Odds

1998
The life of Pat Phoenix is explored in this drama. She had an affair with Tony Booth in the 50s that ended in a break up.
Brookside: Friday the 13th

Brookside: Friday the 13th

1998
There will be trouble in this video-only special. A dramatic script was written by Phil Redmond.

1997.

3 Movies · 1 TV show
TV
Crime Traveller

Crime Traveller

1997
Holly Turner is the daughter of a scientist. The device is used to solve mysteries. They traveled back in time in the beginning of the show. In sci-fi movies, this approach to time travel is unusual.
Brookside: The Lost Weekend

Brookside: The Lost Weekend

1997
A special, video only story set on the Brookside close. On Friday 14th November 1997, a five night a week storyline ended in a cliffhanger and this video completes the story - a tale of kidnapping ext...
Face

Face

1997
Ray is an old ex-socialist who became a bankrobber after seeing the demise of socialism in Britain. He commits one bank job too many while working with a gang of other criminals. The gang came to an e...
Preaching to the Perverted

Preaching to the Perverted

1997
Henry Harding MP, a British government minister on a moral crusade, hires an inexperienced young computer whizzkid, Peter Emery who works for a Christian computer company called Holy Hardware, to infi...

1996.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Hetty Wainthropp Investigates

Hetty Wainthropp Investigates

6
1996
Hetty Wainthropp Investigates is a genteel British crime/comedy drama television programme that aired from 1996 to 1998 on BBC One. Patricia Routledge starred as the titular character, Derek Benfield ...
Brassed Off

Brassed Off

1996
The men of Grimley colliey want to enter their band into a national competition. They don't have any hope if Gloria doesn't carry her Flugelhorn. She is the only chance for the band to win.

1994.

1 Movie
Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure

1994
The dress is based on Shakespeare's play.

1992.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
A Touch of Frost

A Touch of Frost

6.67
1992
A Touch of Frost is a detective drama series produced by Yorkshire Television for ITV from 1992 until 2010, initially based on the Frost novels by R.D. Wingfield. Writing credit for the three episodes...
Bitter Harvest

Bitter Harvest

1992
A young black British woman goes to the Dominican Republic as an aid worker. When she goes missing, her parents make an emotional journey to piece together her story.

1990.

1 TV show
TV
Medics

Medics

1990
Medics was a British medical drama series first broadcast on ITV on 14 November 1990. The show ran for five series with a total of 40 episodes. The show came to end on 24 November 1995. It follows the...

1987.

1 TV show
TV
Inspector Morse

Inspector Morse

4.83
1987
Colin Dexter is the author of a series of novels. A large cast of notable actors and actresses, as well as John Thaw and Kevin Whately, starred in the series.

1982.

1 TV show
TV
Brookside

Brookside

1982
The ground-breaking soap set in a housing estate on the outskirts of Liverpool.

1952.

1 TV show
TV
Today

Today

1952
The American morning television show is called Today. January 14, 1952 is when the program first aired. The first of its kind, the fifth-longest running American television series. It was expanded to ...
Last updated: 
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sue_Johnston", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
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