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March 15, 2023

Introduction

Coronation Street is one of the most popular TV shows of all time, and it all started with Doris Speed. She was the first actress to play a leading role in the show and made a significant contribution to its success. Despite her crucial role, there is little known about her life. In this blog post, we delve into the untold story of Doris Speed, the first leading lady of Coronation Street.

Early Life of Doris Speed

Doris Speed was born on February 3rd, 1899, in Manchester, England. She grew up in a working-class family, and her parents ran a grocery store. At the age of 16, she left school and started working as a dressmaker’s apprentice. However, she soon realized that her passion lay in acting, and she started taking drama lessons. Slowly but surely, she worked her way up the ranks in the theater world, performing in various productions.

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Doris Speed’s Acting Career

Doris Speed’s acting career started in 1924, when she appeared in a production of “The Green Goddess.” She went on to perform in various productions, including “Noël Coward’s Tonight at 8:30” and “The Family Reunion.” In the 1950s, she moved into television, and her first major TV role was in the series “The Grove Family.” However, her most notable role came in 1960 when she played the character of Annie Walker in the pilot episode of Coronation Street.

The Role of Annie Walker

Annie Walker was the landlady of the Rovers Return Inn, the local pub where many of the show’s scenes were set. She was a formidable character who ruled the roost in the pub and was fiercely loyal to her customers. Doris Speed played the role of Annie Walker for over two decades, from 1960 to 1983. Her portrayal of the character was widely praised, and she became one of the show’s most beloved characters.

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Doris Speed’s Personal Life

Doris Speed married twice in her life. Her first marriage was to William Herbert Hobley, an actor, in 1927. However, the marriage ended in divorce in 1937. She then married Bertie Meecham, a bookie, in 1940. The marriage lasted until Bertie’s death in 1955. Doris Speed had no children from either marriage.

Legacy of Doris Speed

Doris Speed left an indelible mark on Coronation Street, and her legacy lives on to this day. She was the first actress to play a leading role in the show, and her performance as Annie Walker set the tone for future characters. Her contribution to the show’s success cannot be overstated, and she will always be remembered as one of the show’s greats.

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FAQs

Q1. What was Doris Speed’s first major TV role?
A. Doris Speed’s first major TV role was in the series “The Grove Family.”

Q2. How long did Doris Speed play Annie Walker in Coronation Street?
A. Doris Speed played the role of Annie Walker for over two decades, from 1960 to 1983.

Q3. What was Annie Walker’s character like?
A. Annie Walker was the landlady of the Rovers Return Inn, the local pub where many of the show’s scenes were set. She was a formidable character who ruled the roost in the pub and was fiercely loyal to her customers.

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Q4. Did Doris Speed have any children?
A. Doris Speed had no children from either of her marriages.

Q5. What was Doris Speed’s contribution to the success of Coronation Street?
A. Doris Speed was the first actress to play a leading role in Coronation Street, and her performance as Annie Walker set the tone for future characters.

Q6. What was Doris Speed’s early life like?
A. Doris Speed grew up in a working-class family, and her parents ran a grocery store. She worked as a dressmaker’s apprentice before pursuing her passion for acting.

Q7. What was Doris Speed’s legacy?
A. Doris Speed left an indelible mark on Coronation Street, and her legacy lives on to this day. She will always be remembered as one of the show’s greats.

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Conclusion

Doris Speed was a trailblazer in the world of television, and her role as Annie Walker in Coronation Street set a high standard for future actresses. Her life was a testament to the power of determination and hard work, and her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. We should never forget the contribution of icons like Doris Speed, who paved the way for others to follow.

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