Steve Tanner was a character in Coronation Street in 1967, from Ep 666 - 3 May 1967 to Ep 734 - 27 Dec 1967, and the second husband of Elsie Tanner. By coincidence, Steve had the same surname as Elsie so she did not have to lose her iconic married surname. Steve was killed by fellow soldier Joe Donelli in 1968 over gambling debts, making Steve the first ever character to be murdered on the show. Steve was played by Paul Maxwell.
Stephen Edward Tanner was born on the 30th October 1924 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, the son of Mr Tanner and Emmeline Tanner. he joined the Army and was a G.I during the war. He was stationed in England and met Elsie Tanner at Burtonwood in Warrington. She was a married woman but she had a whirlwind romance with Steve. They later went their separate ways after the war ended in 1945.
In 1967, Steve was back in England and looked Elsie up. Stan Ogden did not approve of Steve's arrogant demeanour and told pub landlord Jack Walker that he would like to write up a sign saying "Yank go home" to Steve. Steve and Elsie were married that September. Steve took Elsie back to America with him but in 1968 Elsie returned alone saying her marriage was over. Elsie opened her heart to Len Fairclough. She said Steve admitted he made a mistake returning to her.
Murder and aftermath
Steve returned to England in 1968 to see Elsie but was confronted by Len. Steve stayed at nearby digs. Fellow American soldier Joe Donelli owed Steve money, and blamed Steve for his money worries. During a row at the top of a staircase, Joe pushed Steve down the stairs, and Steve died from his injuries. Len was the prime suspect. The jury reached an open verdict (death said to be suspicious by a coroner but does not state the cause) so Len was off the hook, as he was innocent anyway.
In 1970, 2 years after Steve was killed, Joe Donelli admitted he killed Steve. In December that year, during a siege, Joe shot himself dead.
- Steve's death storyline could be considered the first "Whodunnit" on Coronation Street, as it took two years before his killer was revealed and Elsie Tanner and Len Fairclough were initial suspects in his death, before Joe Donelli was revealed to be the culprit.
List of addresses
Born: 30th October 1924, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: 25th September 1968
Full Name: Stephen Edward Tanner
Parents: Mr Tanner and Emmeline Tanner
Spouse: Le Lan Tanner (??-Bef 1967), Elsie Tanner (1967)