Black Country actress and comedienne Julie Walters is to be paid a record-breaking #1.6 million for her memoirs.
The 56-year-old film star - born in Smethwick in 1950 and educated at Holly Lodge School - is described by critics as "a national treasure".
The deal is a record for a showbiz autobiography, eclipsing deals paid to Victoria Beckham and Robbie Williams.
Walters will describe how she struggled against her mother Mary's disapproval to follow her dream of an acting career. Her mother was determined her only daughter would become a nurse.
Although she indulged her mother and trained for a few years, she went on to do a teaching certificate in English and Drama at Manchester Polytechnic before joining the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.
In 1980 she starred in the play Educating Rita and won two best newcomer awards. Her performance in the film version earned her a BAFTA award and an Oscar nomination.
Her mother, who came to Birmingham from Ireland and worked as a chocolate-packer, was so upset that she refused to watch her early performances. Walters said: "She said if I took up acting I'd be in the gutter by 20."
Yet Walters discovered a box of newspaper cuttings charting her success at her mother's house, shortly after she died in 1989.
In her autobiography - due in 2008 - she will confront the role alcohol played in her early career. Walters is expected to admit that drink led her to develop a reputation as a loudmouth.
Walters has enjoyed a long-term comedy partnership with Victoria Wood and has starred in Billy Elliot, Calendar Girls and the Harry Potter films.