Raymond Anthony Langton was a character in Coronation Street from Ep 542 - 21 Feb 1966 to Ep 1861 - 15 Nov 1978 followed by a short return in 2005, returning in Ep 5973 - 2 Mar 2005, and dying in Ep 5999a - 10 Apr 2005. He was a rogue with a confident edge to him, also he was a womaniser and handy with his fists at times. He married Deirdre Hunt in 1975. Ray was played by Neville Buswell.
Raymond Anthony Langton was born on the 16th February 1947 at 2 Gas Street, Weatherfield, Lancashire to Mr. Langton and Mary Langton. Ray had a sister Janice Langton born in 1951. Ray's parents died when him and Janice were young. His mother had been a baker. By 1966, Ray and Janice were orphaned and both turned to a life of crime while in foster care.
Ray was a thief and often could be violent. He once tried to rape Lucille Hewitt. Ray spent some time in jail and became a reformed character by the late 1960s, and later became friends with local builders Len Fairclough and Jerry Booth and Ray and Len set up a joinery. Len was more reasonable than Ray. Ray still did have a nasty streak but put his criminal past behind him. In 1974, Ray bullied Deirdre Hunt, who worked as Ray and Len's secretary, and this earned Ray a slap from Deirdre's mother Blanche Hunt. Ray set up home in Coronation Street. One time he was the butt of a prank and went for the prankster in a nightclub. Ray used to argue with Billy Walker over Deirdre Hunt. In July 1975, Ray and Deirdre married. In November 1975, Ray and Len had a massive fight with two thugs who had broken into The Rovers Return, Coronation Street. Ray became a father to Tracy Lynette Langton in 1977. Ray had an affair with waitress Janice Stubbs in 1978 and this ended him and Deirdre's marriage. In November 1978, Ray decided that there was nothing left for him in Weatherfield so he moved to Holland. He did not even say goodbye to Tracy.
Life away from Weatherfield 1978-2005
Ray Langton would spend the next 27 years living in Holland, where he got married for a second time, although him and his wife lost a baby boy to stillborn around 1981. He didn't have any involvement in Tracy during her upbringing, although would send her presents on birthdays of Christmases. Tracy ended up being raised by Ken Barlow (whom Deirdre entered into a relationship with a year after Ray left), and Tracy thought of him as a father figure. Although Ray wished Deirdre luck via telegram when she married Ken in 1981, he was set against Ken adopting Tracy. But in 1986, Ray changed his mind and gave Ken and Deirdre his blessing for Ken to adopt Tracy, which allowed her to officially become a Barlow. After this Ray had little to no contact before his return in 2005.
- In 1997 a Coronation Street spin-off video Viva Las Vegas showed Ray Langton now living in Las Vegas, and he was shown interacting with Jack and Vera Duckworth during their visit there. It is unclear if this was canon, as Ray's 2005 return eight years later suggested he had been living in Holland all that time, with no mention of any time spent in America.
Around 2000, Ray and his second wife divorced. Four years later in 2004, a 57 year old Ray's health began to deteriorate due to a life of smoking and drinking, and he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and only given a short time to live. He decided it was time to return to the Weatherfield and reconcile with his daughter Tracy before the end came.
Ray returned to Coronation Street in March 2005, dying of stomach cancer. His long mop of wavy black hair that he sported as a young man was now long gone and he was balding and almost 60.
He was driving along Rosamund Street looking at the builders yard which him and Len ran in the 1970s. Ray almost ran Tracy Barlow over. Tracy was with her one year old daughter Amy Barlow, Ray's granddaughter. Tracy did not know this man was her father, as she was only a year old when Ray emigrated in 1978. Ray also did not recognise her. He went to the hospital to make sure that Amy was alright, but typical Tracy gave him lip and threatened to sue Ray for nearly hitting her daughter. When Ken and Deirdre arrived at the hospital they were shocked to come face to face with Ray, and Deirdre informed Tracy that Ray is her father.
Ray attempted to reconcile with Tracy and make up with his family before he died. Despite knowing that he had cancer Tracy found it difficult to forgive Ray, and still considered Ken her real dad. Ray moved into Number 3 Coronation Street when a kind Emily Bishop took pity on him and looked after Ray.
Tracy eventually forgave Ray and he attended Ken and Deirdre's second wedding. During the reception he passed away in the Rovers Return, age 58. A tearful Tracy cried over her dad's body, having just lost her father yet again, this time for good.
Behind the Scenes
- Ray Langton originally appeared on a two month basis from February to April 1966, in which he was portrayed as a far more shadier character who tried to forcefully make a pass at Lucille Hewitt. Upon his full-time return two years later, he was toned down and made more of a rogue.
- Neville Buswell quit the role in 1978 after ten years, as he decided to quit acting and move to the United States to work as a Casino in Las Vegas. Ray ended up departing in November 1978.
- Buswell returned for a cameo role in the 1997 straight-to-video release Coronation Street: Viva Las Vegas, due to him working in Las Vegas at the time of filming. Ray's surprise reappearance wasn't mentioned in the main programme, and his 2005 return claimed that Ray had been living in Holland for the past 27 years since his departure. It is likely it was only intended as a fun little cameo for a former character, with it not being intended to be taken seriously.
- Buswell returned to the main programme in 2005 for a six week basis, which acted as complete closure for Ray was he was killed off. After finishing up his short stint, Buswell returned back to Las Vegas where he would spend the remainder of his life. At the time of Ray's return, it was quite a record breaker when it came to an actor's absence for the show, was he was away for 27 years. This would be broken by Kenneth Cope, who returned as Jed Stone in 2008 after a 42 year absence. Both men's records were broken by Philip Lowrie who returned as Dennis Tanner in 2011 after a 43 year absence.
Appearances: 21 February–13 April 1966, 17 April 1968–15 November 1978, 2 March–10 April 2005
Died: 18th April 2005, The Rovers Return, Coronation Street,
Full Name: Raymond Anthony Langton
Siblings: Janice Langton
Spouse: Deirdre Hunt (1975-1980), Second unnamed wife (c.1981-2000)
Children: Tracy Barlow (1977), Stillborn baby boy
Grandchildren: Amy Barlow