A WOMAN from south Essex who did the make-up for Hugh Jackman in the hit Hollywood movie Les Miserables has been nominated for an Oscar.

Julie Dartnell, 49, who went to Hassenbrook school, in Stanford-le-Hope, was given the Oscar nod at a nomination ceremony in Los Angeles yesterday.

The mum of two began doing make-up aged 16, but it is the first time she’s received a nomination for the top award.

It has been quite a week for Julie, as she was also nominated for a Bafta.

Her proud mum, Anne Dartnell, of Stanford-le-Hope, only found out about the Oscar nomination when she saw Julie’s name on the internet.

She said: “It’s just amazing. She’s worked very hard and done make-up since she was 16. We’re really very proud of her.”

Les Miserables, directed by the King’s Speech’s Tom Hooper, also stars Anne Hathaway and Russel Crowe.

It was Julie’s work with Hugh Jackman, who has been nominated for the best actor award, that has been praised.

Julie had to fly to Los Angeles last week to present her work to the Oscars panel and discuss how and why she had decided to do Jackman’s make-up and wigs. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, in the heartbreaking musical set in 19th Century France.

The film has been nominated for eight academy awards, including best picture. The winners will be announced at a glitzy ceremony on February 24.

Mrs Dartnell added: “We knew over Christmas she had made the final seven, but we found out on the internet on Thursday she had made the final three.

“Her phone doesn’t work where she is at the moment, so we can’t speak to her. We’re not sure if she even knows!

“She’s very blase about it all and you will never hear her brag about any of it. She never says how good she is.

“She’s a wonderful mum, too.”

Julie’s sister Sally Sandy, of Stanford-le-Hope, who works at Hassenbrook, said: “We’re absolutely over the moon. She always has an eye for art, but had to work so hard and goes away for months at a time. It’s fantastic.

“After joining the BBC as a freelance, the things she’s worked on have got bigger and bigger.”

Julie began her career learning from a renowned West End make-up artist called Bert Broe before joining the BBC aged 21.

When the BBC made her redundant, she was taken on as a freelancer for the organisation, working on shows such as French and Saunders and The Impressionable John Culshaw. She then began doing make-up on films such as Wanted, which starred Angelina Jolie, Alice in Wonderland, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Julie now lives in Berkshire with her partner Dave and two children Holly and Tom. She is currently in Germany working on a new film.