Tim Healy and Denise Welch welcomed Matty Healy in 1989
Matty Healy comes from a family of stars.
The 1975 singer is very close with both his British actor dad, Tim Healy, and mother, Denise Welch. While Tim is best known for being an actor, Matty’s father also has quite the musical talents.
“My dad wrote [The 1975’s song ‘Don’t Worry’] in 1990 or something,” Matty once told NME. “My dad was a welder, and then he became a stand-up comedian and started a live theater company. At a time where people were going around Sunderland and Newcastle in the ‘70s and doing stand-up, he went out and did plays.”
The “Somebody Else” singer has used his songwriting ability to open up about his relationship with his mother.
“‘She Lays Down’ is about my mum,” he told NME. “It doesn’t get much more personal than that ...[Denise] told me a story, she was so gripped by post-natal depression that she was coming into my room when I was a couple of months old, lying on the floor and actively trying to love me.”
“That is brutal — especially considering how close me and my mum are,” he continued.
Here’s everything to know about Matty Healy’s relationship with his parents, Tim Healy and Denise Welch.
Tim and Denise met during an audition
Tim and Denise first met at an audition in Newcastle, and it was not love at first sight.
“I just thought, he's such an idiot,” she told her panelists on ITV’s Loose Women. “I always thought he was really grumpy and guarded — I thought he was a fabulous actor mind.”
However, she was quickly proven wrong after Tim gave her a ride home from a party. “I've got this guy completely wrong,” she detailed.
They are both British actors
Tim is best known for acting in TV shows like Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Benidorm, while Denise previously starred in Coronation Street and Soldier Soldier. She is also a current panelist on the ITV talk show Loose Women.
With both of his parents in the spotlight, Matty grew up seeing the ups and downs of fame. He told Pitchfork that he was exposed to the “artifice” of fame long before he joined The 1975 because of his parents' careers.
“Not that my parents posture, but by the time it came to being a performer and doing interviews, in my brain I was like, ‘I will go insane if I have to do any of the posturing I’ve been witness to my whole life, ' " he said.
Tim and Denise were married for 24 years
The British TV actors married in London in 1988, one year before Matty was born. Denise’s career took off in 1993 when she landed the role of Marsha Stubbs in ITV’s Solider Soldier. Things got even more hectic for Denise when she joined the cast of Coronation Street in 1997 to play Natalie Horrocks.
While her career was taking off, Tim and Denise were living apart. Soon, Denise began struggling with clinical depression and she attempted to self-medicate using drugs.
“I'd reached a point where I felt taking cocaine was the only way I could survive,” she wrote in her 2010 autobiography, Pulling Myself Together. “A dealer came to meet me in a side street. I knew I was taking my life in my hands. Not only by meeting a dealer who would have been known to the police but also because I could have lost my job. I could have been all over the papers … Yet my need to get cocaine to get me through the day was greater than any of those risks.”
Throughout their relationship, they had ups and downs, including a few affairs and rehabilitation efforts. The couple later divorced in 2012.
“Tim and I finally had the conversation at the Hemmel, our family house in the North East, where we go for Christmas most years,” she wrote. “‘I really think we should go our separate ways, don’t you?’ I said as he lit my cigarette for me,” to which Tim replied, “You’re probably right.”
They share two sons
Matty was born in London on April 8, 1989, just one year after Tim and Denise got married. To celebrate Matty’s 33rd birthday, Denise wished her son well and shared details about her birthing story on Instagram.
“You were definitely worth the 42 hour labour!!” she wrote with the social post. “Happy birthday to my first born…Love you Matty moo."
The couple then welcomed their second son, Louis, in 2001. Like Tim and Denise, Louis has started acting. He’s acted in several TV shows and films, including ITV’s drama series Hotel Portofino.
“Hotel Portofino starts tonight on @itv at 9pm,” Denise wrote on Instagram in support of her younger son. “If you didn’t see it on @britboxtv you’re in for a treat!!! Very proud of @healytymd and the stellar cast.”
Matty wrote The 1975’s song “She Lays Down” about Denise
In a candid profile with NME, Matty revealed that he wrote The 1975’s emotional track “She Lays Down” about his mother's mental health struggles.
“‘She Lays Down’ is about my mum,” he told NME. “I’m sure my mum won’t mind me saying this, but she told me a story when I was about 17, she was so gripped by post-natal depression that she was coming into my room when I was a couple of months old, lying on the floor and actively trying to love me.”
The lyrics read, “And she lays down on her bedroom floor / The chemicals that make her laugh, Don't seem to be working anymore,” and continue on to read “And when I go to sleep it's when she begins to weep / She's appalled by not loving me at all / She wears a frown and dressing gown / When she lays down.”
While it was hard for Matty to write the song, he ultimately thinks the song “had to come out.”
“How f------ brutal is that? That is brutal — especially considering how close me and my mum are,” he said. “We are like, insanely close. That resonated with me so much, I think that writing music for me is such a catharsis, and such a personal thing.”
Denise opened up about the story behind “She Lays Down” on Loose Women to her fellow panelists: “I told him when he was older that depression robbed me of the ability of love and I used to lay down on the bedroom floor and pray for the ability to love my children again.”
Denise is incredibly proud of her son’s success
The Loose Women panelist is undeniably proud of her son’s success with The 1975. She often uses social media to express her admiration for Matty and his bandmates.
“The giggling of 4 best friends who met at high school, started a band in our garage and today celebrate their 5th number one album,” she captioned an Instagram video of Matty and The 1975 bandmates accepting an award for the fifth consecutive No. 1 album, “Don’t stop believing kids ❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
Matty’s father wrote a song for The 1975
Tim’s talents span way farther than the TV screen. As part of The 1975’s 2020 album Notes on a Conditional Form, Matty revealed that his father Tim wrote the track “Don’t Worry.”
“My dad wrote it in 1990 or something,” Matty told NME about the song. “I’ve heard that song my whole life, but there’s never been a recording of it.”
Matty continued to praise his father’s influence on his own life and the British entertainment industry.
“Although my dad was never into punk, my dad’s always been very punk,” he told NME. “My dad was a welder, and then he became a stand-up comedian and started a live theatre company. At a time where people were going around Sunderland and Newcastle in the ‘70s and doing stand-up, he went out and did plays.”
“When he became famous through [working class 1980s TV comedy-drama] Auf Widersehen Pet, he kind of became a figurehead for a political movement, like the subsidisation of industry that created the miners strikes and all those kind of things,” Matty added.
Tim was a surprise guest during The 1975’s 2023 Newcastle show
The 1975 had a very special guest join the band onstage during their Newcastle stop part of their At Their Very Best tour — Matty’s father. Roughly two hours into their performance, Tim joined Matty’s band to perform a rendition of their 2022 track “All I Need to Hear.”
Denise posted a video of Tim’s surprise performance on Instagram, captioning the video “Mattys dad Tim was a special guest tonight at Newcastle!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️."
Later on in the night, Tim called Matty the “king of the city.”
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