Corrie Barlow family – health battles, tragic deaths, rival soap and famous wife

Corrie Barlow family – health battles, tragic deaths, rival soap and famous wife

Lydia is causing problems for Adam Barlow in Coronation Street, as she begins stalking him and members of his family.

Intent on destroying his relationship with wife Sarah, what lengths will Lydia go to in future weeks? Only time will tell.

Adam Barlow has become one of Coronation Street's most familiar faces, ever since returning to look after grandfather Ken Barlow in 2016, following Ken's stroke.

He is one many Barlow family members to call Weatherfield their home throughout the years, but will Lydia's reign of terror rising, will he remain in the street for long?

As viewers wait to see what happens, Daily Star takes a closer look at the famous Barlow family and the stars who play them.

Ken – William Roache

Ken Barlow is one of the original Coronation Street residents, becoming a familiar face to viewers throughout the generations.

From the death of his first wife Valerie Tatlock, to the birth of his children and a longstanding feud with Mike Baldwin, fans have gone through all of Ken's ups and downs throughout the years.

Not only is he one of Coronation Street's longest serving actors, but he also holds the Guinness World Record as the longest serving television star in a continuous role.

He was also awarded an OBE in 2022 for his services to drama and charity, having appeared in TV programmes including Sky Port and film, The Bulldog Breed, with Norman Wisdom, as well as his well known Corrie role.

However, William worried fans in 2021 when he took a leave of absence from the soap, with reports that the actor was in ill health.

It was later clarified by an ITV spokesperson that the actor was recovering from Covid-19, with a statement saying: "Following recent reports about his health, William Roache has asked us to clarify that he took time off work after testing positive for Covid.

"He has recovered well and is looking forward to returning to the cobbles as soon as possible."

As one of the longest serving Coronation Street stars, William is also estimated to earn £200,000 per episode according to reports, and has an estimated net worth of a staggering £3.7million.

In his personal life, the actor has four children and has been married twice – first to Anna Cropper from 1961-1974 and then to Sarah Roache from 1978 until her sudden death aged 58, at their home on February 7, 2009.

Deidre – Anne Kirkbride

Deirdre Barlow was at the centre of some of Coronation Street's biggest story lines, including her famous affair with Mike Baldwin, which was voted the greatest Corrie story of all time.

Dierdre was also wrongfully jailed in 1998 for fraud, leading to the famous 'Free the Weatherfield one' campaign by fans, with the nation's papers printing the headline 'Free Dierdre'.

During her time on the soap, actress Anne Kirkbridge also spoke openly about being diagnosed with non-hodgekins lymphoma, a form of cancer, with Anne leaving Corrie for a period of time to recover.

Although the actress later went into remission, she revealed in an interview that she battled with depression in the following years after her diagnosis, saying: "It was worse than the cancer in a way, because that was going to be over.

"I knew that was bad, but I knew at the end of it I was going to be better. But this, this was just so frightening."

Anne continued to play Dierdre for over 42 years, in which the character married the love of her life Ken Barlow in 2005, before Dierdre died off screen of a brain aneurysm while on holiday with her friend Bev Unwin.

Dierdre's exit was written into the soap, following the death of actress Anne Kirkbridge on January 19, 2015 at the age of 60, following a diagnosis with breast cancer.

Paying tribute to the late star, Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts said: "There are no words to describe the sense of grief we feel at Anne's passing. We know only too acutely how much Anne meant to the millions of people who watched her create the legendary character of Deirdre Barlow.

"She will be greatly missed by the Coronation Street team who share happy memories of working with her.

"We feel blessed and honoured to have known her. Our thoughts are with David and their family."

Away from the soap, Anne Kirkbridge was married to her husband David Beckett for over two decades from 1992-2015.

Peter – Chris Gascoyne

Peter Barlow is the son of Ken Barlow and Valerie Tatlock, and twin brother to his late sister Susan, who died in a car crash in 2001.

After he was sent to Glasgow at the age of five with his sister, Peter made a return to Weatherfield in 2000, following a career in the Royal Navy.

Along with his battle with alcohol, multiple marriages, affair with Carla Connor and birth of son Simon, Peter's life as been just as dramatic as his father's.

Actor Chris Gascoyne also previously revealed in an interview with The Mirror that his own days of drinking when he was younger helped him to connect with Peter's own alcohol story line in Coronation Street, saying: "It went on for a good 10 years, but after a while I realised I was drinking for reasons that were no longer social. It was no longer purely about having a good time.

"I was never an alcoholic, but a lot of us have problems with alcohol – anything that affects your life or your judgement is a problem."

He added: "I'm not teetotal, but I drink very rarely now."

Long before he played Peter Barlow however, Chris already had a long career in acting, having appeared in TV series including Casualty, Soldier Soldier, New Street Law and The Locksmith.

He is not the only famous performer in his family however, after marrying actress Caroline Harding in 2002.

Caroline has appeared in rival soaps including Emmerdale, and also made an appearance in Coronation Street as Dr Howorth, who treated Oliver Battersby.

Together he and Caroline have a daughter called Belle, and Chris also step-dad to Caroline's children Pip and Freddie, with her ex-partner and Line Of Duty actor Jason Watkins.

Tracy – Kate Ford

Tracy Barlow is the daughter of Deirdre and her second husband Ray, but has always seen Ken Barlow as her own father.

Growing up, Tracy always had a crush on teenage friend Simon McDonald, but after her feelings were not returned, she left for London to marry her first husband Robert Preston in 1996.

However she returned six years later in 2002, and became known for her multiple flings, including a one night stand with Simon McDonald – leading to the birth of their daughter Amy, a villainous attempt to trick Roy Cropper for money and murdering boyfriend Charlie Stubbs.

She has since settled down with Simon McDonald, with actress Kate Ford continuing to play the character since her return in 2002.

Kate Ford has also spokenly openly on social media about her health battle with endometriosis while filming Coronation Street, sharing a selfie of herself with the caption: "Filming #itvcorrie this was a few weeks ago at a time that I was struggling with my #endrometriosis.

She added: "Luckily got lots of support x just sending a hug out to all those struggling with similar," followed by a red love heart.

The actress has previously revealed that she has stage four endometriosis, where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Kate also spoke on Twitter about the difficulties of not being able to access therapy during the coronavirus pandemic, saying: "As someone with grade four endometriosis, I realise how much I rely on my massage therapy to help with this."

"Due to COVID I’ve not been able to visit my therapist for three months. My body is sore, I’ll never take this therapy for granted again xx."

Although Kate is known for playing Tracy Barlow, she has also appeared in other TV programmes including Doctors, and had a rival soap role as Sophie in the EastEnders spin-off Ricky and Bianca in 2002.

She was also previously married to Jon Connerty from 2007-2015 and they have one child together called Otis.

Adam – Sam Robertson

Adam Baldwin is Ken Barlow's grandson, following mother Susan's relationship with Ken's rival Mike Baldwin.

Following the death of his mother in a car crash, Adam was sent to boarding school, but later returned in 2005 for two years before departing again in 2007 to work in his uncle's betting shop in Portsmouth.

However, Adam has since become a regular Weatherfield resident after moving back to Coronation Street to look after his uncle Ken, following a stroke.

He now runs a solicitors with Imran Habeeb and is in a relationship with wife Sarah – which is currently threatened by advances from his ex-girlfriend Lydia.

While Adam Barlow has had a number of steamy romances on screen, actor Sam Robertson has also been linked to a number of stars including a rumored romance with Kate Connor actress Faye Brookes, although neither of the actors confirmed this.

It was also reported that Sam had previously been out for dates with football pundit Alex Scott in 2020.

While the star has also appeared in TV series including Beaver Falls, it has been confirmed that Adam Barlow will be staying in Coronation Street for a while yet, as Sam Robertson has just signed a new contract with the soap.

A source told The Sun: "Sam is a huge talent and bosses are thrilled he’s signed a new contract.

"He’s got some explosive storylines coming up with Adam facing losing everything because of his deranged ex Lydia."

Daniel – Rob Mallard

Daniel Osbourne is the son of Ken Barlow and Denise Osbourne, but after being taken to Scotland by his mother, he was later abandoned as a teenager.

He returned to Weatherfield in 2016 after father Ken suffered a stroke, with Daniel involved in heartbreaking stories including the death of his wife Sinead and his new conflict with the Platt family.

It is not only fame that Rob has found on the soap however, as Rob Mallard also found romance, dating Billy Mayhew actor Daniel Brocklebank in 2017.

Speaking about Daniel while collecting a British Soap Award, Rob said in his acceptance speech: "Even though this is fantastic, Dan, you’re the best thing I’ve ever taken home."

However, the couple have since split up due to the pressures of working together, but still remain close friends, and the actor is currently single.

Rob has also spoken openly about his health battle with a neurological condition while filming Coronation Street, with the condition causing the actor to suffer from tremors.

Speaking on This Morning, the actor said: "The hardest scenes for me to film technically are the close-ups when I’m holding a phone.

"I’ve got a tremor, so I have to try and camouflage it on set. I make a point of using as many props as I can, so I can get used to it.

"My solution has been to hide and manage, because of the job that I’m in, it can have a detrimental effect on my ability to get cast.

He revealed that he has since had messages from other people with the same condition, adding: "Then it was exposed on TV. I was embarrassed and then angry. But then I started getting messages saying ‘Me too’."

Blanche – Maggie Jones

Outspoken Blanche Linfield became a fan favourite when she arrived in Weatherfield in 1974, as the mother of Deidre Hunt.

From there she was the source of all gossip, running the cornershop while keeping an eye on all the street's goings on, before retiring and living with daughter Dierdre and husband Ken Barlow.

During her career she also appeared in TV programmes including Z-Cars and Nicolas Nickleby and even appeared in the music video for Mike and The Mechanic's classic The Living Years, but she will forever be fondly remembered as Blanche.

However, Blanche was written out of the soap following actress Maggie Jones' death in real life, with Blanche dying of a heart attack while on holiday in Portugal.

Maggie Jones died peacefully in her sleep on December 2 2009, with her fellow co-stars paying tribute to her.

Actor Ken Roach praised the actress in an emotional statement, saying: "She was a tower of strength, physically frail but mentally strong as an ox and sharp as someone half her age.

"She had an amazing dry wit and was as funny if not funnier than Blanche. We were great cross word partners, we sat through Tracy’s trial scenes doing the cross word together.

"I don’t think Maggie ever realised how much she was loved not only by everyone on the show but by the millions of Blanche fans out there."

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