Juliette Kaplan

The Official Site

About Juliette...

Born in England, she spent her childhood in South Africa and New York City before training for the theatre at the Hampshire School of Drama, graduating with L.G.S.M. (teaching), A.N.E.A. (Hons) performance, A.N.E.A. (Hons) teaching and Gold Medal N.E.A. (Hons) mime.

Her mothers advice was - get a teaching qualification and never give up the day job ! 

Note - not a teacher - 

she's the world's worst teacher !

Her first professional engagement was as 'Salome' in 'Voice in the Wilderness' 

for St. George Films, Hampshire, a company specialising in religious documentary films.

The dance (not the seven veils in 1955!!) certainly got the film some notoriety - oops sorry - publicity !! 

All the national papers jumped on the story and a clip of the dance was shown on TV in 'TONIGHT' hosted by Cliff Michelmore - remember him ?

That shows you how long ago that was !

She sunbsquently played for them in 'His Name was John', 'It Came To Pass', and 'The Communion'. 

Much to her chagrin when she went to the studios to film 'The Communion', the director took one look at her husband, Harold, and said 

'Thats the face I want. Juliette you're free for three days. Harold come with me !'.

In complete contrast, her next role was the back end of the cow in pantomime at Tunbridge Wells. Many rep seasons gave her a chance to see most of the U.K.

Having married and had three children in three years, she took a break from theatre.

Juliette returned to the profession in 1978 in a small scale tour of 'Two for the Seesaw', then 'The Curse of King Tut's Tomb' for Harlech TV. Appearances on the London 'Fringe' include 'Meat Love' at the Almost Free and 'After All These Years' at the Finborough Arms.

She made her directing debut at the Edinburgh Festival with 'Anyway' by Tudor Gates 

and then played Joanne in his play 

'Who Killed Agatha Christie' 

at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End.

 

In 1984, she was offered the role of 'Pearl' in the stage version of ' Last of the Summer Wine' 

playing in Bournemouth. 

She had a feeling the part would be lucky 

as Pearl is her mothers name.

To her great delight she was then written into the TV series as a permanent character despite one of the main lead characters reservations, 

and since 1984 she appeared in all the episodes.

She has also featured in the full length Summer Wine films including 'Big Day at Dream Acres' where poor Pearl tried to become glamourous and 'Uncle of the Bride' when she didn't !! 

She remained in the series until it ended in 2010.

Chances to 'doff' the wig and glasses came when she played 'Grace' in Brookside, 'Lucille' in EastEnders and (remember the 'day job'? It paid off !) 'The Croupier' in London's Burning. 

She toured extensively and has loved playing a wide variety of roles as possible and being unrecongnised. Some of her favourites have been 'Violet' in 'Steaming', 'Mrs Prentice' in 'What the Butler Saw', 'Emma Brookner' in 'The Normal Heart', 'Martha' in 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf', 'Catharine' in 'Arms and the Man', 'Dotty' in 'Noises Off' and 'Maggie' in 'Hobson's Choice'.

The summer of '89 saw Juliette hoofing at the Theatre Royal, Margate, as '

Maxine' in 'Stepping Out'.

Another 'first' came in 1990 when she was cast as 'Fairy Godmother' at Tunbridge Wells. Being tone deaf this called for a little ingenuity and by the first night, her song was called by the company 'Juliette's Poem'. She started taking singing lessons, but her teacher says she's a challenge 

that may be lost !

Since then she has played in panto at the Theatre Royal, Bath, Manchester Palace, Hull, Blackpool, Weston Super Mare where she played 'Widow Twanky' in 'Aladdin' - both singing and dancing this time and in Leamington Spa to name a few.

For several years,, with her smoke-cured voice, playied baddies and loved playing 'Wicked Queen' in 'Snow White' and 'Queen Rat' in 'Dick Whittington'.

The biggest challenge of her career came in 1999 when she was asked to play 

'Peggy Schofield' and 'Irene Ruddock' 

in a tour of 'Talking Heads' 

by Alan Bennett for Channel Theatre. 

Being on stage for over two hours in a solo performance was both terrifying and immensely satisfying.

It was after this tour that Juliette had the temerity to contact Roy Clarke and suggest that he write a play for her centred on 'Pearl', - her character in 'Last of the Summer Wine'. 

As she said to him, 'If I can tour Alan Bennett, I can tour Roy Clarke'. Amaxingly he agreed. Many emails, phone calls, and meetings later, a script was finalised. 'Just Pearl' was launched upon an unsuspecting British public in March 2003 and toured over 40 venues. 

in 2003 she was cast as 'Miriam', a hostage in the film of the opera 'Death of Klinghoffer' by John Adams and directed by Penny Woolcock. 

''Death of Killinghoffer' premiered at the Walter Reade Theatre, New York, on May 13th 2003 and was subsequently screened at the Sundance Festival, California.

2007 saw her casting off the dowdy look to play a typical Jewish mother in 'Are You Ready for Love' . 

She loves after dinner speaking and doing  cruises talking of her experiences in TV and her observations on 'Pearl'. 

She then toured in 'Dirty Dusting' playing 'Olive' an elderly office cleaner who, with her mates, 

takes over one of the offices 

and sets up a telephone sex line !!

Great fun, but a bit embarrasing 

when her children came to see it

Another tour was 'Sailor Beware' playing 

poor nervous 'Aunt Edie'.

Totally against type, and a wonderful opportunity

to diversify.

In 2009, Last of the Summer Wine was axed. 

The public made such a fuss that another series was hastily commissioned.

It was screened to an ever-increasing audience 

but the BBC decided 'new, young fresh blood' was needed and it ended in 2010.

The series ended in an off-peak slot 

but managed a very respectable ratings figure 

of around seven million.

She thought about taking her mother's advice and 'getting a proper job' when ITV called 

and asked her to present a documentary on Holmfirth, the village where the series was filmed.

In 2013 she was approached by Jacob William and agreed to appear in his short film 'Don't Let Go' which was well received.

In 2014 she received a long awaited call to treat the nations' favourite cobbles 

when she was cast as Beth's grandmas 'Agnes' in Coronation Street - a role that she absolutely loved, and became close friends with several members of the cast.

She also appeared in the Christmas advertising campaign for Boots the Chemist.

She divides her time 

between Central London and Westgate-on Sea 


When not working, her hobbies are snorkelling, playing bridge badly, spoiling her grand-children, writing, gardening, directing amateur drama, and telling her children how to run their lives.
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