BILL TARMEY - CORONATION STREET Nov 9, 2012 14:50:57 GMT 1
Post by Laurence on Nov 9, 2012 14:50:57 GMT 1
Bill Tarmey who played Jack Duckworth in ITV soap Coronation Street, has died in Tenerife at the age of 71.
Born William Piddington on 4 April 1941 in Ardwick, Manchester, Bill gave up his job in the building industry to work as a nightclub singer and entertainer in 1968. In order to supplement his income, he took on work as an extra on shows such as Coronation Street, amongst others and was eventually offered the role of Jack Duckworth, a character who would go on to become an institution in British soap operas. Bill starred in the soap for 34 years almost all of that time alongside the actor Liz Dawn, who played his wife, Vera.
Dawn retired from acting in July 2007 because of complications with emphysema. Her final appearance came in the episode screened on 18 January 2008, when Vera Duckworth died in her sleep. But in 2010 she appeared in the soap for Bill Tarmey's last scene, and the pair were seen posthumously dancing around the living room of their terraced home.
Shortly after his birth, Bill Tarmey moved with his family to live in Bradford, Manchester, where he was also educated. Following his father's death during the Second World War, his mother Lilian married for a second time, to a man called Robert Cleworth. William attended the Bradford Memorial School and the Queens Street School which became the Philips Park Secondary Modern School. On leaving school, he was apprenticed to his stepfather, who was an asphalt spreader by trade. He also worked in the construction industry for a number of years.
In 1955, he met his future wife Alma in the local youth club. They went on to marry in 1962 and have two children together: Carl (born 1966) and Sara (born 1970).
Bill was an accomplished singer, who released several albums, even though in Coronation Street, Jack Duckworth was portrayed as tone deaf with a flat singing voice. In an affectionate send-off, the scriptwriters ensured that Tarmey's favourite songs were infused throughout the final episode, with Wind Beneath My Wings – his biggest hit as a crooner – playing on the Rover's jukebox as Jack left the pub for the final time.
Bill wanted to leave his role in the long-running television series in 2009 due to his multiple health problems, which include severe breathing problems. The show's producers, however, persuaded him to stay until the 50th anniversary, in December of the following year. News of his departure was announced on 9 April 2010. Commenting, he said, "I've had the most amazing 30 years playing Jack. Because of him I've made fantastic friends and travelled all over the world. I'll be sorry to say goodbye". Bill's departure was pushed forward to the 8 November 2010 episode because of his health. He also later revealed he had to leave the series because his son Carl was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
On Friday 9 November 2012, news sources announced that Bill Tarmey died. His family confirmed to ITV that he died in Tenerife on Friday morning, asking for "privacy as they grieve for a wonderful husband, father and brother". A statement from Coronation Street said the cast, crew and production team were "devastated" to learn of his death.