Larne actress featuring in latest series of hit TV drama Marcella

Larne born actress Valerie Lilley has been on home ground for the latest series of Marcella on ITV.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 12:47 pm

Valerie, who lived at the Inver area of the east Antrim town in her formative years, has made numerous appearances on stage and the small screen during a distinguished career.

The latest series of Marcella, starring Anna Friel in the title role, is set in Northern Ireland where Friel assumes the persona of dodgy Manchester cop Kiera Devlin, who has relocated here to work and explore her family’s roots.

Valerie plays the character of Megan Healy in three episodes of the drama series, the latest in a long list of roles in theatre, television and film.

Actress Valerie Lilley.

She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Mrs Scully in the 1984 film Scully and for Patty Croker in Shameless (2010-2012).

Born in April 1939, the daughter of Margaret and James Lilley, she lived at Oakdene, Inver and was educated at St Mary’s Primary School in the town and then St Dominic’s High School in Belfast. The Lilleys later moved to Ramsbottom in England but family members remain in the town.

Valerie has also appeared in Casualty, the Inspector Linley Mysteries, Grange Hill, Peak Practice and The Bill among others, as well as numerous stage productions over the years.

She trained with Joan Littlewood’s Arts Workshop in London in the early 1960s and spent many years as a stage actress throughout the United Kingdom.

In 1982 she took a minor role in a local television play, Stewart Parker’s Iris in the Traffic, Ruby in the Rain, which starred Frances Tomelty.

That year she also appeared in two other televised plays, Potato Head Blues and Billy Boy, set in the Troubles, alongside James Ellis, when she played the role of Billy’s mother.

Click here to read: Larne had taste of Hollywood long before Game of Thrones filming


Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.