Birth name: Anne Kirkbride

Origin: England

Genre: Actress

Born:Oldham, Lancashire, England

Died: 19 January 2015, aged 60

Manchester, England


at the Internet Movie Database



Anne Kirkbride (21 June 1954 – 19 January 2015) was an English actress, known for her long-running role as Deirdre Barlow in the ITV soap Coronation Street, which she played for 42 years from 1972 to 2014. For this role, she posthumously received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2015 British Soap Awards.

She was born in Oldham, Lancashire, the daughter of Jack Kirkbride, a cartoonist for the Oldham Evening Chronicle. She attended Counthill Grammar School, Oldham, and then joined Oldham Repertory Theatre as an assistant stage manager, before progressing to acting roles.

Coronation Street

Kirkbride was noticed by casting directors for the British soap opera Coronation Street when she acted in a Jack Rosenthal play, Another Sunday and Sweet F.A. (1972), for Granada Television. She played the bit part of Deirdre Hunt in Coronation Street from November 1972. The character’s role grew and after further appearances in 1973, Kirkbride signed a contract with the serial in 1974. From then on, the character of Deirdre Barlow become famous for her very large spectacles and her husky voice (a result of Kirkbride’s own chain smoking).

On 29 September 2014, it was announced Kirkbride would have a three-month break from the show and prior to her death, she had filmed no official last scenes, making her final scenes the ones aired on 8 October 2014. At the 2015 British Soap Awards, she posthumously received the Outstanding Achievement award, which was accepted by her husband.

Other television appearances

In 1998, Kirkbride ran away on This Is Your Life during the same time she was battling severe depression. In 2013, Kirkbride completed a documentary entitled Deirdre & Me, a 60-minute special to celebrate her 40th year of playing Deirdre. She also completed a documentary in 2001 also entitled Deirdre & Me. Her late father Jack Kirkbride also gave an interview in the documentary in 2001.

In 2007, Kirkbride starred in the first episode of You Don’t Know You’re Born, a genealogy documentary on ITV1. It was revealed she had Irish ancestry in Gort, Co. Galway.

Personal life

She married former actor David Beckett in 1992. They met on the set of Coronation Street, when Beckett joined the cast as her character Deirdre’s boyfriend.

In 1993, Kirkbride was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She spoke to the British press about her bout of depression following the diagnosis. She was cured within a year of being diagnosed.


Kirkbride died of breast cancer in a Manchester hospital on 19 January 2015, aged 60.

Kirkbride’s funeral was held on 27 January 2015 in a private ceremony. William Roache, Beverley Callard and her former co-star Johnny Briggs were in attendance.

At the 20th National Television Awards, held two days after Kirkbride’s death, on-screen partner and close friend from Coronation Street, William Roache, gave a tribute to Kirkbride during the ceremony. The actor Adam Woodyatt dedicated the award EastEnders won to Kirkbride, referring to her as “the Weatherfield one”, referencing a Coronation Street storyline which saw Deirdre wrongly jailed for fraud.


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. The Telegraph. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.

  1. Jump up ^ Anne Kirkbride Obituary in The Guardian

. Retrieved 20 January 2015

  1. Jump up ^ “Coronation Street star Anne Kirkbride to take three-month break”

. BBC News. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.

  1. Jump up ^ “British Soap Awards pay tribute to Kirkbride”

. BBC news. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.

  1. Jump up ^ “‘My struggle to beat the blues'”

. Daily Mail. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2013.

  1. Jump up ^ O’Brien, Deidre. “”I stole my real-life love from another woman”: Coronation Street’s Deirdre reveals her guilt”

. Mirror online. MGN Ltd. Retrieved 29 January 2014.

  1. Jump up ^ Roche, Elisa (12 February 2009). “Anne: I may quit Coronation Street”

. Daily Express. Retrieved 20 May 2009.

  1. Jump up ^ Nianias, Helen (20 January 2015). “Anne Kirkbride: How the Deirdre Barlow actress’ frank discussion of her depression inspired others”

. The Independent. Retrieved 20 January 2015.

  1. Jump up ^ “Anne Kirkbride | News | Coronation Street | ITV”

. itv.com. 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.

  1. Jump up ^ “Anne Kirkbride | News | Coronation Street | ITV”

. itv.com. 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.

  1. Jump up ^ “Anne Kirkbride, star of Coronation Street, dies aged 60 after short illness”

. Guardian. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.

  1. Jump up ^ “Anne Kirkbride, Coronation Street’s Deirdre Barlow, dies aged 60”

. BBC News. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.

  1. Jump up ^ “Tributes to Anne Kirkbride at National Television Awards”

. BBC News. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.

  1. Jump up ^ “BBC News PM supports Weatherfield One”

. BBC Online. 31 March 1998. Retrieved 22 January 2015.