Vera Duckworth was a long running character in Coronation Street from Ep 1418 - 19 Aug 1974 to Ep 6733/6734 - 18 Jan 2008, followed by an appearance in Ep 7463/7464 - 8 Nov 2010 as a vision to her dying husband Jack Duckworth. Originally portrayed as the loudmouth wife of Jack, they mellowed as years went by. Vera once even was told that she was related to royalty. Vera was played by actress Liz Dawn.
Veronica Burton was born on the 3rd September 1937 to Amy Burton and an unknown father, although one candidate was Joss Shackleton, who had a brief fling with Amy around the time Vera was concieved. Vera met Jack Duckworth and they married in August 1957 when he was 20 and she was 19. In the autumn of 1963, Vera had a brief affair with another man, this was around the time she fell pregnant. Jack found out and saw the man off by beating him up. On the 4th June the following year, 1964, a baby boy Terence Edgar Duckworth was born. Vera never knew that Jack knew about her affair, and she suspected Terry's paternity. However, as Terry got older, Jack noticed Terry looked like him and had many mannerisms so was sure Terry was his blood son.
In August 1974, Vera was still working at the Mark Brittain Warehouse in Coronation Street. She was good friends with Edna Gee.
In January 2008 the couple planned to move to Blackpool, however Vera passed away in her armchair, much to Jack's devastation.
In October 2010 it is discovered that Jack has incurable Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He returns home in order to die there. On the day of his birthday, Jack returns back home and rests in his chair. As he passes away, he witnesses Vera, waiting to take him away. The pair kiss, and then share a dance.
Appearances: 19 August 1974, 19–21 July 1976, 13 December 1976–18 January 2008, 8 November 2010
Born: 3rd September 1937
Died: 18th January 2008 (Aged 70)
Full Name: Veronica Duckworth (Nee Burton)
Grandmothers: Lilian Burton
Spouse: Jack Duckworth (1957-2008)
Children: Terry Duckworth (1964)
Behind the Scenes
- Similar to Ivy Tilsley, Vera was slowly woven into the show and wasn't an actual resident of the street from the get go, instead worked at the warehouse (later factory) across the road. The character initially appeared for one episode in August 1974, reappeared for a further two episodes in July 1976, and then returned in December that year on a more permanent basis. Vera wouldn't become a resident of Coronation Street until 1983, nine years after her original introduction and seven years after her full time return.
- Elizabeth Dawn quit the role in 2007 after 33 years due to health reasons. The character departed in January 2008. When her co-star Bill Tarmey quit in 2010, she made a special return as a ghost/vision of Vera for Jack Duckworth's death scene, bringing complete closure to a popular and well loved couple.
- Liz Dawn wasn't completely done with Coronation Street, as in 2012 she appeared as the ghost of Vera as part of a sketch for the Text Santa charity. The special featured many former co-stars appearing as ghosts of their deceased characters. Tarmey was originally intended to return as Jack, however sadly passed away before filming his scenes. Instead archive audio of Bill Tarmey as Jack is inserted into the episode.
- In Ep 3201 - 18 Mar 1991, Vera was told by her putative father Joss Shackleton that he was the great grandson of Edward VII as his great gran was his servant and she was seduced by him, so Joss' father was the illegitimate grandson of King Edward VII. This meant Vera was Edward VII's great, great granddaughter. Jack understandably refused to believe this. Vera sent off a letter to The Queen, but the letter never reached her and Jack sent her a card back pretending to be the Queen. Vera was gullible enough to fall for it. Vera kept up the belief that she was related to royalty and described Prince Charles as a relative. When Prince Charles was said to be visiting the area Vera was excited and said "Cousin Charles".