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EastEnders Wiki

Julie Cooper (née Robinson) made her first appearance on 1 June 1989. She is portrayed by Louise Plowright.


Julie Robinson was born in Walford but grew up in Salford, Manchester. She married Billy Cooper and in 1989 her grandmother Eileen Robinson died and Julie acquired her old house in Victoria Road.


In June 1989, Julie returns to Walford to sell the 55 Victoria Road, which was left to her by her late grandmother. She leases a vacant property and employs handyman, Paul Priestly, and his friend, Trevor Short, to renovate it, leaving many locals wondering what sort of business Julie is intending to open. Dot Cotton jumps to the wrong conclusion when she sees a flier advertising Julie's "personal services" and assumes she is opening a brothel. She petitions against the opening of Julie's business, but is embarrassed when Ethel Skinner - who had known Julie's mother years ago - discovers that Julie is a hairdresser and beautician and intends to open a salon. The salon, named Julie's, is situated at 11 Turpin Road. Michelle Fowler becomes the salon receptionist and a young trainee named Marie Davies is also employed but doesn't stay long as she regularly clashes with Julie. During her stay in Walford, Julie lives in one of the flats at 43 Albert Square.

Julie is attracted to fellow northerner Paul Priestly and, despite him dating Diane Butcher, she seduces him and they have sex. Their affair continues for several weeks, much to Diane's annoyance, but ends when Paul begins suspecting that Julie is using him to get a cheap deal on the work he is doing on the salon. Paul returns to Diane, but Diane cannot forgive Julie and plays various vengeful tricks, such as sabotaging the opening day of her salon and sending her a male escort to make her look desperate. Julie responds by flirting with Paul to infuriate Diane, and their feud culminates in a showdown in The Queen Victoria public house one night, which leaves Diane looking the fool.

Meanwhile, Julie turns her attentions to new market trader, Laurie Bates, but he is more interested in Kathy Beale. Julie is unperturbed and flirts outrageously with Laurie at every opportunity. Laurie's relationship with Kathy does not progress the way he had hoped and Julie takes advantage - letting Laurie know that she can satisfy him in ways Kathy wouldn't. In October 1989, at the Vic's Halloween party, Laurie gives in and goes home with Julie as Kathy watches. Julie assumes Laurie wants a relationship with her, but after receiving Kathy's scorn, he realises it is her he wants after all. He dumps Julie, telling her their night together was a mistake. Julie tries turning him against Kathy by telling him about her rape but only makes him more sympathetic to Kathy and they grow closer as a result.

By 1990, Julie decides that owning her own business is more trouble than it is worth. Her upmarket establishment never really takes off, not making enough money even to pay the bills. By March, Julie is facing bankruptcy and having her salon repossessed. While pondering over how to solve her money problems, she catches the eye of brothers Phil and Grant Mitchell. They both approach Julie but are unaware that they are trying to chat up the same woman - and Julie flirts with them both. Phil manages to secure a date with her first but opts to follow up a business deal and stands Julie up. When Grant discovers that it is Julie who Phil was supposed to meet, he goes to her flat in his brother's place. Grant manages to persuade Julie that he is a better choice than his good for nothing brother, and is eventually invited into her flat, where they share a bottle of wine. Their date goes well and Julie is so impressed that she shamelessly invites Grant to spend the night with her.

The following day, Phil meets Grant and tells him about his business meeting the night before. A gangster associate of his wants to take over the lease on Julie's salon and he wants to buy it at a vastly reduced price. Phil has been instructed to scare Julie into selling it. However, Phil realises that Julie will not be so easily pushed around. Realising that he has blown his chances with her, he instructs Grant to persuade her to accept the deal. Over the coming weeks, Grant and Julie's fling continues and eventually Julie decides to sell the lease, which is when Phil moves in with his offer. While Julie is waiting to meet Grant in the Vic one night, Phil tries to persuade her to sell him the lease. Julie realises that the Mitchell brothers have been using her, and she throws a drink in Phil's face and threatens to castrate Grant when he also tries to coax her into selling.

Despite her hostility towards the Mitchell brothers, Julie still wants to sell the lease and is forced to do business with them, but in revenge, insists on £1000 more than Grant originally offered. Grant agrees reluctantly and the Mitchells lose their cut of the payment from their associate. She parts ways amicably with Phil and Grant saying she is moving on. After securing her victory, Julie closes her salon one night and returns to Salford in March 1990.


"'Fraid so." (first line - 1 June 1989)

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