Rita Sullivan

Rita Sullivan

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Rita Sullivan

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Rita Sullivan (née Littlewood, previously Fairclough) is a long-standing character in the UK television ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. Portrayed by Barbara Knox the character first appeared on-screen during the episode airing on 2 December 1964.


Rita is initially introduced in a one-off appearance as an exotic dancer, and a friend of Dennis Tanner (Philip Lowrie) in 1964. She reappears eight years later, living with Harry Bates (William Simons) and his son Terry (Steve Barratt). She is attracted to Terry's teacher, Ken Barlow (William Roache), but becomes romantically involved with Len Fairclough (Peter Adamson) when her relationship with Harry ends in violence. Rita takes a job singing in a nightclub, and goes on to open The Kabin, a corner shop. She and Len marry in 1977. They are unable to adopt due to their age, but take in a foster child, Sharon Gaskell (Tracie Bennett). Len is killed in a car accident in December 1983, and Rita is devastated to learn he had been having an affair.

Rita takes in a new foster daughter, Jenny Bradley (Sally Ann Matthews), and meets her estranged father Alan (Mark Eden). She begins a relationship with him, unaware he is also seeing Gloria Todd (Sue Jenkins), a barmaid at the Rovers Return Inn. When Rita discovers his infidelity, she issues him an ultimatum. Although Alan chooses Gloria over Rita, Gloria changes her mind about being with him and ends their affair. Alan is also a conman, and...
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