How newcomer Molly Windsor went from waiting tables to a BAFTA award

From waitress to BAFTA Best Actress: Three Girls’ Molly Windsor, 20, who beat Claire Foy to coveted award was discovered by Samantha Morton – and now she’s tipped to take Hollywood by storm

  • Molly, 20, beat Claire Foy and Thandie Newton to Best Actress prize
  • Starred in Three Girls as Holly, a victim of the Rochdale abuse scandal 
  • Actress launched her career at 11, playing an abused child in The Unloved
  • Is dating rocker Jake Graham who’s in a band with her brother Josh 

A 20-year-old rising star has beaten competition from the likes of The Crown’s Claire Foy to scoop the prestigious Best Actress award at last night’s BAFTA TV awards.

Molly Windsor from Nottingham triumphed for her role in Three Girls, a harrowing drama about the Rochdale child sex abuse scandal.

Just a year ago, she was supplementing her acting career with a part-time job as a waitress after completing her A-levels. 

But now she’s tipped to take Hollywood by storm after she beat Claire Foy, Line of Duty’s Thandie Newton and Little Boy Blue’s Sinead Keenan to the coveted prize. 

And it seems as if the taste for showbiz runs in the family as her brother Josh is a drummer in the rock band Fahran alongside Molly’s boyfriend Jake Graham, which is managed by their mother, Beth.

Despite her tender years, the actress is no stranger to hard-hitting material after launching her acting career at 11, starring as an abused child in Samantha Morton’s The Unloved in 2009.

She was chosen for the role after being spotted in her drama group at the Nottingham Actors Studio and forged close bond with Morton, who she described as ‘incredible’ in an interview with The Guardian. 

Molly Windsor, 20, from Nottingham triumphed at last night’s TV Awards for her role in Three Girls, a harrowing drama about the Rochdale child sex abuse scandal

The rising star appeared alongside Maxine Peake as Holly, a 15-year-old being groomed by a gang of older men

‘I missed it so much when we stopped filming,’ she said. ‘Because I was only 11, I was mothered into my role. People were very patient and kind.’

Her next part was Oranges and Sunshine with Emily Watson, another hard-hitting drama about British orphans and children from broken homes being plucked from their homes and forcibly relocated to Australia and Canada. 

She balanced her acting roles with her studies and completed her A-levels before turning her attention to making it her a full-time career.

In Three Girls she played 15-year-old Holly whose friends Amber and Ruby introduce her to older British Pakistani men who groom, sexually abuse and traffic them. 

Molly’s next role is in The Runaways, a film about three bereaved children and their family donkeys

Molly at the BAFTA TV awards with her boyfriend Jake Graham, who is in the rock band Fahran with her brother Josh 

In her speech last night, Molly paid tribute to the courage of the real-life victims of the Rochdale sex abuse scandal 

The actress met the woman who her character was based on and has spoken passionately about the important of telling the victims’ stories.  

In her acceptance speech last night, she paid tribute to the women whose real-life stories featured in the drama.

She said: ‘Three Girls was born out of the courage of the real Three Girls, and the real Holly, Amber and Ruby that told their story over and over and over, and then they told it to us again. 

‘And I just want to say thank you to everyone for recognising how selfless that is and how brave that is. 

Molly starred alongside Liv Hill and Ria Zmitrowicz in the hard-hitting drama Three Girls 

The youngster, pictured with her boyfriend, has raised money for victims of abused and exploitation after being inspired by her role in Three Girls 

Last year, the actress raised more than £2,000 for Safe and Sound, and organisation that works with children and young people at risk of and affected by exploitation, sexual violence and abuse.

And she’s previously admitted to feeling ‘angry’ about the way the victims were ignored by authority figures and the police when they spoke out about being abused. 

‘Three Girls is more then a TV drama because it is telling that truth. We should not have had to tell this story, this should not be true, but it is,’ she told The Tab. 

While admitting she felt ‘overwhelmed’ by the material, she said it made her passionate about telling the victims’ stories.

Molly Windsor attending the Burberry BAFTA Breakthrough Brits 2017 in October 2017

‘Three Girls has made me determined to stand by them and fight for change,’ she said.

Molly attended last night’s awards with her boyfriend Jake Graham, who is a guitarist in the rock brand Fahran alongside Molly’s brother Josh, who is the drummer. 

She occasionally shares snaps with her boyfriend and friends on Instagram, but seems to prefer keeping a low profile and making her beloved Labrador Drummer the star of the show. 

Her next role is in The Runaways, a film about three bereaved children and their family donkeys. 



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