Doris Speed

Doris Speed

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Doris Speed

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Doris Speed, OBE (3 February 1899 - 16 November 1994) was an English actress, best known for her role as snooty Rovers Return landlady Annie Walker on Coronation Street, a role she played from 1960 to 1983.

Early life and career

As a child she toured with her musical and comedy artist parents - George Speed and Ada Worsley, moving to different schools - almost every week. Her debut came to her at the age of three years old, as she toddled on to stage in a nightdress to sing a song about a golliwog. Two years later, she made her acting debut as the velvet-suited infant Prince of Rome in a Victorian melodrama, called The Royal Divorce. She then appeared in repertory theatres and in numerous radio plays. She left acting to work for, amongst others, the Guinness brewery in Manchester, as a clerk. Returning to acting relatively late in life, she had a small role in the 1960 Stanley Baker vehicle Hell Is a City which was set in Manchester.

She also worked on a 1950s police television series Shadow Squad. In 1960, close friend and writer of Shadow Squad Tony Warren created the soap opera Coronation Street, purportedly writing the character of Annie Walker specifically for her

She appeared in 1,746 episodes and was one of only a handful of original cast members still appearing in the 1980s. Towards the end of her run on Coronation Street, a national newspaper published her birth certificate, which proved her to be many years older than she had claimed. She publicly fainted when...
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