Northern Ireland news

Soft Border Patrol actress Julie Maxwell laid to rest

Family and friends attend the funeral of actress Julie Maxwell in Belfast yesterday. Picture by Mark Marlow

A "hugely talented and intelligent" actress who died suddenly last Saturday evening was laid to rest yesterday.

Julie Maxwell, who appeared in the BBC comedy Soft Border Patrol, died after collapsing at a Belfast city centre bar.

The 36-year-old, who is also known as Julie Lewis, collapsed in the grounds of the Sunflower Public House on Union Street.

She was buried at Roselawn Crematorium in Belfast yesterday afternoon.

Trained at the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff, Ms Maxwell played Charlene Dunn in Soft Border Patrol.

The north Belfast woman also appeared in many productions at the Lyric Theatre over the years, including The Crucible, Three Sisters, The Ladykillers and most recently in A Streetcar Named Desire.

The Lyric was closed yesterday as a mark of respect.

Her former school, Hazelwood Integrated College, this week paid tribute to their “very active and talented” former pupil.

Her agent Philip Young said: “She was a force of nature that brought happiness and laughter to everyone both on and off stage.”

In a statement, the Lyric praised Ms Maxwell as a "sharp and comedic actor" and a "fantastic writer and an exciting emerging director".

Family and freinds attend the funeral of actress Julie Maxwell. The northern actress had been on the TV show Soft border control. Picture Mark Marlow.

"She made an invaluable contribution to the development of new work at the Lyric and was a true asset to any workshop or reading," the statement read.

"Not only would she bring her considerable talents as an actor into the room, but her insight, rigour, and sensitivity in providing feedback helped so many writers.

"Her personality – warm, energetic, witty – made any room a pleasure to be in."

It added: "Her untimely death is a cruel blow for the theatre, and the many, many friends she made here. She made an indelible impression on so many. She will be hugely missed by us all."

Belfast actress Kerri Quinn was among the mourners at the funeral of Julie Maxwell yesterday. Picture by Mark Marlow

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