William Roache is a British television actor who is best known for playing Ken Barlow on the beloved soap opera Coronation Street for nearly 60 years.
Along with his work on the show, Roache has also appeared in movies such as Behind the Mask and The Bulldog Breed. From where he was born and raised to his amazing soap opera accomplishments, here are five fast facts about the actor.
Who Is William Roache?
Roache was born on April 25 in Basford, Nottingham, but he grew up in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. He attended a Steiner school, which was actually set up by his grandfather in the family home’s garden, and he learned everything from hypnotism to homeopathy. He then studied at Rydal School.
Following school, Roache decided to join the British army and was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers. He was then promoted to lieutenant, but he decided to leave the Army in 1956 while ranked captain. Due to a mortar exploding, Roache still suffers from tinnitus.
Roache was cast in Coronation Street in 1960 as Ken Barlow and has been on the show ever since. In fact, he is the longest-serving living television actor in the world. He has been in over 4,000 episodes since he’s been a part of the show.
All the Awards
Thanks to his performance in Coronation Street, Roache was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards in 2000. He was also awarded the M.B.E. (Member of the Order of British Empire) in 2001 for his service to television.
Getting Personal With William Roache
Roache was married to his first wife, Anna Cropper, from 1961 to 1974. The couple had two children — son Linus born in 1964 and daughter Vanya born in 1967. He then married his second wife, Sara McEwan Mottram, in 1978. However, she tragically died in February 2009 after suddenly collapsing. They had three children together — Verity, James, and Edwina.
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