Joanne Whalley is an English actress. Brought up in Stockport, Whalley initially appeared in How We Used To Live and bit parts in soap operas, especially Coronation Street and Emmerdale. Her early film roles include a non-speaking part in Pink Floyd's The Wall; and as a young Beatles fan in Birth of the Beatles.
In 1982 at Abbey Road Studios as the lead singer of the pop group Cindy & The Saffrons, they recorded the Shangri-Las song "Past, Present and Future" and the next year, "Terry" by Twinkle. The group split up soon thereafter.
Joanne Whalley co-stared in the film "No Surrender" (Dumbarton Films with Film Four) scripted by Alan Bleasedale, released in 1985, but the film was not successful and did not go on general release.
Whalley came to prominence on British television as Emma Craven in Troy Kennedy Martin's Edge of Darkness (1985), quickly followed by Nurse Mills in the Dennis Potter-penned serial The Singing Detective (1986) both for BBC Television. In 1987 she played a role in the TV movie The Good Father.
She met the American actor Val Kilmer filming the fantasy adventure Willow, whom she married in 1988 and after which she used the name Joanne Whalley-Kilmer. She continued filming, making more films in Hollywood than the UK, including the mystery noir Shattered and, in 1989, the role of Christine Keeler in Scandal alongside stars John Hurt and Sir Ian McKellen. In 1994 she became only the second actress to play Gone with the Wind heroine Scarlett O'Hara when she appeared in a made-for-TV adaptation of the sequel novel, Scarlett.
She took a break from filming to raise her two children with Kilmer, but as the marriage broke down she chose to file the divorce papers on Kilmer after he left to film The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1996, with him finding out from a CNN broadcast. She also starred in the 1997 film The Man Who Knew Too Little.
Whalley returned to acting through making television films, including the 2000 tele-film Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in which she played the title character. After divorce from Kilmer, she collaborated with the pop-punk band blink-182 to read a letter at the beginning of the song "Stockholm Syndrome".
In 2005, she appeared as Mary I of England in The Virgin Queen, a BBC serial about the life of Queen Elizabeth I which also starred Anne-Marie Duff and Tara Fitzgerald. In 2006, she appeared in Life Line, a two-part drama on BBC1, starring opposite Ray Stevenson. In 2008, she appeared in the ITV mini series "Flood" with Robert Carlyle amongst others.