WCW: Justine Waddell


Whatever happened to Justine Waddell? She had tons of ingenue roles in the 1990s, from Tess of the d’Urbervilles to Great Expectations to Wives & Daughters. And then, kaput. She hasn’t even acted since 2011. Anyone know why? Because I miss her!


The Woman in White (1997)

In the gothic Victorian The Woman in White (1997).

As the friend of sweet Kitty in Anna Karenina (1997).

The Moth (1997)

I can’t even understand the plot summary of The Moth (1997) on IMDB. I’ll just tell you that it’s set in 1913 and she’s ethereal.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1998)

Making Trystan happy (probably) and me depressed in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1998).

Great Expectations (1999)

Stickin’ it to Pip and all the men as Estella in Dickens’ Great Expectations (1999).

Mansfield Park (1999)

As the less annoying sister of Fanny’s adoptive family in Mansfield Park (1999).

Wives & Daughters (1999)

As sweet and pure Molly in 1830s-set Wives & Daughters (1999).


Do you miss Justine Waddell too?


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

18 Responses

  1. Melanie Clark

    Oh honey, you have not had the Catherine Cookson Experience! This blog (hilariously) tells all you need to know about The Moth: http://www.genevievevalentine.com/2011/12/the-catherine-cookson-experience-the-moth/

    All of the films (most from the ’90s) are on youtube–they are a rabbit hole of passion and melodrama that won’t let you go, starring EVERY SINGLE ENGLISH ACTOR you’ve ever heard of, just before each one’s rise to fame. The Moth is the best one, largely due to Justine Waddell’s surprisingly believable ethereal-ness and the Juliet Aubrey/Jack Davenport smolder contest.

    Also, I love Justine in Tarsem Singh’s The Fall. It’s set in 1915 but it’s about a story that Lee Pace creates with a little girl in his hospital ward, so most of the costumes are fantastical.

    • Sarah Faltesek

      Yes- The Fall is hands down in my top 5 movies ever. The costumes are stunning.

      • Melanie Clark

        Seriously! One of the most beautiful movies ever. And sadly not as known as it should be. I love how it illustrates the reciprocal nature of storytelling.

    • Black Tulip

      Thank you, you’ve just reminded me that a rewatch of The Fall is long overdue

    • Heidii

      OH GOODNESS, I am so happy someone else knows the Catherine Cookson Experience!!!

      So. Much. Bairnsketball! WHEN YOU WERE 9!

    • Marianne

      Catherine Cookson dramas are sooo over-the-top they are almost laughable, Yet one is transfixed. Oh, the travails of poor “Tilly Trotter”. If you watch enough of them, you become a proper Geordie! Apparently every soon to be famous English actor/actress had to be in one when they left drama school.

  2. Kai Jones

    These days when I wonder about the disappearance of an actress, I wonder whether it’s because she turned down Harvey Weinstein (or somebody else with power).

    • Gosia

      Kai, you are echoing my thoughts. The option that she turned down the advances of Weinstein or some other producer/director was the first thing that came to my mind, when I was thinking about the cause of her disappearance.

  3. Colleen Crosby

    Wikipedia says she’s been involved in Russian cinema since 2011, and currently on the board of a Russian charitable film organization. I was going to say something funny about the Russians and Justine being forced to stay out of historical dramas against her will, but I couldn’t come up with anything witty on a Wednesday afternoon.

  4. Janette

    Have just rewatched Great Expectations my second favourite Justine Wadell role but then I have not seen many others except Wives and Daughters. Her acting in the lattert was so extraordinary, so much conveyed with just a look making Molly one of my favourite of all TV characters. Reading the book she is very “in character”. she would have been interesting as Tess but I have not been able to get hold of that production. It is sad that such a talented actor has virtually vanished from the screen. I hope she resurfaces soon.

  5. Charity

    Seen them all, and also her in a few modern things. And YES, she’s stunning in The Fall.

    Not as stunning as Lee Pace in his guyliner, but… ahem

  6. Janette

    I had never heard of the Fall before. It looks stunning. Will be watching forthwith.

  7. Milla

    I love Justine Waddell, and have been singing her praises (to the tolerant faces of my friends) the last five or six years! Her face is great, but she’s also a really skilled, subtle actor, even in the crap movies.


Feel the love