When one thinks of ‘Coronation Street’, one inevitably thinks of William Roache- an actor who has literally devoted his entire life to the world’s longest running show. Roache has been playing the character of Ken Barlow ever since the show hit our television screens in 1960.
Born to Joseph William Vincent Roache and Hester Vera in Basford, Nottinghamshire, Roache was named William Patrick Roache at birth. After completing his education, Bill Roache, as he is known among his friends and family, joined the British Army in 1953. His success as a soldier can be effectively gauged by the fact that within a year of joining the army, he was promoted to the position of lieutenant and by the time he left three years later in 1956, he had become the captain.
After an embellished army career, Roache turned to acting and as per the old saying ‘nothing worth having comes easy’, he too had to face his fair share of struggle. However, the year 1960 brought a lot of changes for him and he landed the lead role in a made-for-television play ‘Marking Time’. It was his spirited performance as a young soldier in the play that caught the eye of award winning television screenwriter Tony Warren, who at that time was casting for his upcoming show that was destined to change Roache’s life forever.
Roache went on to essay the historic role of Ken Barlow. Since 1960, his character which was initially conceptualised as a young radical man living in the 1960’s, has lived in about 8 houses, has been involved with 23 odd women and has been married four times! Roache currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest serving television actor in a continuous role for his portrayal of Ken Barlow. His immense contribution to television brought him the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire i.e. the order of chivalry of British constitutional monarchy in 2001.
The 84 year old actor has undoubtedly come a long way in his career, but not without his share of controversies. In 1999, he got into a legal tiff with a leading daily for calling him ‘boring and unpopular’. Although, he won the battle it cost him almost all of his fortune and he eventually became bankrupt in 1999. The year 2013 brought trouble for Roache yet again, when he was arrested for allegedly raping a 15 year old girl in 1967, an accusation he vehemently denied. Luckily enough however, he was acquitted of all charges and declared not guilty in 2014.
Roache has been married twice. He married Anna Cropper in 1961 and fathered two children with her, a son named Linus Roache (who is also a well-known actor) and a daughter named Vanya Roache. He divorced Cropper in 1974. He then married his second wife Sarah Mottram in 1978 and went on to have 3 children with her, 2 daughters named Verity Roache and Edwina Roache (died in infancy) and a son named James Roache (also an actor). Mottram died suddenly in 2009.
Roache dated Emma Jesson from 2010-2012. He suffers from tinnitus (hearing ailment) which he developed during his time in the army due to continuous exposure to mortar explosions.
Education: Roache received his primary education under the sagacious guiding of his grandfather who taught him in a Steiner school in their ancestral home at Ilkeston, Derbyshire. His grandfather believed in the educational philosophy of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner who advocated the importance of imagination in learning, which was essential for a child’s holistic intellectual and artistic development. After this Roache completed his higher education from the Rydal School.
He also revealed in his autobiography that his fascination with the enigmatic realm of astrology led him to pursue a correspondence course in the subject from the Faculty of Astrological Studies.
William Roache Net Worth in year 2017 is approximately $5.5 Million US Dollars
The estimated total net worth of William Roache in 2017 is more than $5.5 million US dollars.
William Roache Business Model:
Apart from a successful acting career, Roache has a bestselling autobiography titled ‘Soul on the Street’ under his belt. The work that was published in 2008 provides an insight into the actor’s life experiences and has been quite popular among his fans ever since its release.
Roache is majorly known for ‘Coronation Street’ for which he has received many awards. In 1985, he appeared on British biographical TV show ‘This Is Your Life’ where he was honoured for being the last remaining original cast member of ‘Coronation Street’.
He has also been a part of game shows, like ‘Ant & Dec’s Gameshow Marathon’ and ‘All Star Family Fortunes’. He has also appeared on shows, like ‘Piers Morgan’s Life Stories’ and ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ on BBC.
William Roache has been in the news recently regarding the uncertain fate of his character on ‘Coronation Street’, which has been rumoured to be headed toward an end.
No matter what happens to the character of Ken Barlow, an actor of Roache’s calibre and experience is not going to be forgotten anytime soon!