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William Roache Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (3)

Born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England, UK
Birth NameWilliam Patrick Roache
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

William Patrick "Bill" Roache MBE is an English actor. He has played Ken Barlow in the soap opera Coronation Street since its first episode on 9 December 1960. He is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-serving living television actor in a continuous role. First acting job with Unicorn Players at Princes Theatre Clacton in 1959 with John Kendall and Helen Blackwood among others. Summer season repertory.

Roache was born in Basford, Nottinghamshire, the son of Hester Vera (née Waddicor) and Joseph William Vincent Roache. He grew up in nearby Ilkeston, Derbyshire, where he attended a Steiner school set up by his grandfather in the garden of the family home. His Freemason grandfather was interested in such things as hypnotism, theosophy, spiritualism, homoeopathy and esotericism, and the teachings of philosopher and educationalist Rudolf Steiner. Roache was later educated at Rydal School which was also attended by his son Linus.

Roache joined the British Army, and was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1953. A year later, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He left the British Army in 1956 with the rank of captain. Due to an exploding mortar round during his military service, Roache suffers from tinnitus.

After leaving the army, Roache turned to acting. He appeared in various stage productions, then had uncredited roles in several films, and later small parts in television serials including Knight Errant Limited and Skyport. He played the minor role of a space centre operator in the Norman Wisdom film The Bulldog Breed.

Shortly before joining Coronation Street at the beginning of the programme in 1960, Roache played the leading role in a Granada Television play called Marking Time, transmitted on ITV in 1961.

Roache is now the world's longest-serving television actor in a continuous role (as of July 2017) after the cancellation of the American soap opera in 2010 As the World Turns, where Don Hastings played Bob Hughes since October 1960 without a break.

On 16 October 1985, just weeks before the 25th anniversary of his debut on Coronation Street, he appeared as the special guest on the TV show This Is Your Life. With the departure of Pat Phoenix the previous year, he was the show's last remaining original cast member by this stage.

In 1999, Roache was the recipient of the British Soap Awards Lifetime Achievement Award for his role as Ken Barlow. In 2003, Roache appeared on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes as Perry Como singing the song "Catch a Falling Star". In September and October 2005, he appeared as a celebrity contestant in Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon. He was the winner of The Golden Shot remake, progressing through to Bullseye where he was beaten by television presenter Vernon Kay. He later entered All Star Family Fortunes, hosted by Kay, but lost by two points to his competitors.

Roache's 2008 autobiography is entitled Soul on the Street. It focuses on many of his life experiences and contains a significant amount of philosophical content in which Roache affirms his belief in the afterlife. In October 2008, Roache revealed on BBC Breakfast that he had a two-year feud with fellow Coronation Street actress Pat Phoenix, during which they did not speak to one another. This was over her changing of a scene involving the two of them. However, they did reconcile and became good friends. On 13 April 2012, Piers Morgan interviewed Roache for his ITV series Piers Morgan's Life Stories. On 26 September 2012, Roache was featured on the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?, researching his family history.

Roache lives in Wilmslow, Cheshire. His eldest son, by his first wife Anna Cropper (1938-2007), is actor Linus Roache (born 1964). The couple also had a daughter, Vanya (born 1967). The couple were married from 1961 until their divorce in 1974. Roache married his second wife, Sarah Mottram, in 1978. She died suddenly on 7 February 2009 at their home at the age of 58. With Sarah, he had a daughter named Verity (born 1981) and a younger son, the actor James Roache, christened William (born 1985). A second daughter, Edwina, died aged 18 months after her birth on 26 April 1983 from acute bronchial pneumonia on 16 November 1984.

In 1991, Roache won a libel action against The Sun, which had described him as boring and unpopular with his fellow Coronation Street stars. He was awarded £50,000 damages by the jury, the same amount that he had turned down in an out of court settlement offered by the newspaper before the case. As a result, he was liable for the £120,000 costs incurred. Roache sued his law firm for negligence in 1998, and was declared bankrupt in April 1999.

Roache is a supporter of the Conservative Party. In 2007, as a guest for Daily Politics, he championed Sir John Major as Britain's greatest post-war prime minister. He backed disgraced ex-Conservative MP Neil Hamilton in the 1997 election against Martin Bell. Roache became patron of the Ilkeston-based production company Sustained Magic Ltd in 2006.

Roache is a vegetarian because he "doesn't want animals being killed for him". He wrote about his interest in astrology in his biography, which he learned by taking a correspondence course from the Faculty of Astrological Studies. He said he had impressed members of the Coronation Street cast by the accuracy with which he read their astrological charts for them. Roache is a spiritualist and was photographed practising druid rituals in the 1970s. He predicted that the world would go through a fundamental change on 12 December 2012 and "move to a higher vibration".

During an investigation and trial, Roache's character Ken Barlow was written out of Coronation Street. However following Roache's acquittal he resumed filming on Coronation Street in June 2014, and returned to the screen on 4 August of that year.

Roache was awarded an MBE in the 2001 New Years Honours. In March 2007, he was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Chester in recognition of his contribution to television.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (2)

Sara Roache (1978 - 7 February 2009) (her death) (3 children)
Anna Cropper (1961 - 1974) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (11)

Spoke out in 1999 of his unhappiness on the sensationalism and violence needed to attract viewers in British soaps.
Is a dedicated 'druid', a kind of astronomy group which predict the fate of their lives by the turning of the moon.
Was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards in 2000 after playing his role as Ken Barlow in highly watched British soap-drama Coronation Street (1960) for 40 years, after appearing in the very first episode on 9 December 1960.
He was awarded the M.B.E. (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honors List for his services to television drama.
He is the longest serving, living television actor in a continuous role in the whole world! He is the longest serving soap actor in the world ever and as of 2017 still acting/appearing in the very same role (with approaching 4500 appearances), uninterruptedly since the first episode of the British soap opera Coronation Street was made and broadcast in 1960! Appeared and/or credited in an average of over 25 episodes per year of the soap Coronation Street for 57 years.
Was a contestant on Ant and Dec's Gameshow Marathon, a part of ITV's 50th birthday celebrations.
Served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
Father of Linus Roache (born 1964) and Vanya Roache (born 1967) by his first marriage and also father of Verity Elizabeth Roache (born 1981), Edwina Roache (born 1982, died 1984 of a virus) and James Roache (born William James Roache in 1986) from his second marriage.
Wife Sara Roache died suddenly and unexpectedly on 7th February 2009. She collapsed and never regained consciousness. She was 58.
Is one of 8 Coronation Street (1960) actors to win the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards. The others are Barbara Knox, Johnny Briggs, Elizabeth Dawn, Betty Driver, William Tarmey, Helen Worth and Anne Kirkbride.
He was played by his son James Roache in The Road to Coronation Street (2010).

Personal Quotes (10)

I've got a great chat-up line, "Would you like to be 1,001?"
I had rehearsals up in Manchester from Monday to Friday. The opportunity was there. There were plenty of girls around. I shouldn't have done it. I didn't have any control over my own sex drive. I didn't have the strength to control it.
I'm just Ken's caretaker. You could say I'm having two incarnations, two for the price of one.
There's a very complex situation here that was stirred up by the Jimmy Savile business. Paedophilia is absolutely horrendous, paedophiles should be sought out, rooted out and dealt with. But there's a fringe here. There's a fringe of people, particularly pop singers, they have these groupies, these girls, who come, they're sexually active, sexually mature, they don't ask for their birth certificate. They don't know what age they may be but they're certainly not grooming them and exploiting them. But they can be caught in this trap. These people are instantly stigmatized. Some will be innocent, some will not. But until such time as it's proven, there should be anonymity for both.
If someone has done something wrong, the law will take its course. But even so, all of us, whether they're proven guilty or not, we should not be judgemental about anybody, ever. We shouldn't go around condemning, unforgiving. We should always be totally forgiving about everything.
Everything that happens to us is being a result of what we have been in previous lives.
I'm very fond of Ken but I am also mainly William Roache. And I am here to live my life.
If you think about something, you bring it about.
[on Coronation Street (1960)] While I can do it and while they want me, I will be there.
[on his 2013 trial] In these situations there are no winners, and I think we should all be much kinder to ourselves.

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