Raphaela Horan

Written by Raphaela Horan

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Hellomagazine.com

When it comes to the world of entertainment, few names carry as much weight and legacy as William Roache. With a career spanning over six decades, Roache has cemented his place as a beloved and iconic figure in the realm of television. Best known for his portrayal of Ken Barlow, the longest-running character in the popular British soap opera, “Coronation Street,” Roache has captivated audiences with his charm, versatility, and impeccable acting skills.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating life and career of William Roache, uncovering 23 captivating facts that shed light on the man behind the character. From his early struggles as a young actor to his record-breaking achievements on “Coronation Street,” Roache’s journey is one filled with triumphs, challenges, and inspiring moments. So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the extraordinary life of a true television legend.

Key Takeaways:

  • William Roache, known for his iconic role in “Coronation Street,” is a beloved actor with a Guinness World Record for the longest-serving male television actor. His dedication, humility, and talent have made him a true legend in the entertainment industry.
  • Beyond his acting career, William Roache is a published author, talented artist, and advocate for holistic healing and mental health awareness. His inspiring personal journey and commitment to his craft have left an indelible mark on television history.
Table of Contents

William Roache was born on April 25, 1932, in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England.

From a young age, it was clear that Roache had a passion for performing, which would ultimately lead him to a remarkable acting career.

He is best known for his role as Ken Barlow in the popular British soap opera “Coronation Street.”

Roache has been a key character on the show since its inception in 1960 and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-serving male television actor in a continuous role.

Roache made his on-screen debut in 1960, and his character has appeared in over 4,500 episodes of “Coronation Street.”

His outstanding dedication and commitment to the role have solidified his status as a television icon.

In addition to acting, Roache is also a published author.

He has written several books, including his autobiography titled “Soul on the Street: An Autobiography,” which offers an intimate look into his life both on and off the screen.

Roache has received numerous accolades for his portrayal of Ken Barlow.

He has been nominated for several awards, including the British Soap Award for Best Actor and the National Television Award for Most Popular Actor.

Despite his incredible success, Roache remains humble and down to earth.

He has always shown deep gratitude towards his fans and has been known to take the time to personally respond to their letters and messages.

Roache is a firm believer in spirituality and has openly expressed his interest in holistic healing.

He has even practiced transcendental meditation for over 40 years.

Outside of his acting career, Roache is a loving father and grandfather.

Family holds a special place in his heart, and he cherishes the moments spent with loved ones.

In 2013, Roache faced a personal tragedy when he lost his daughter, Vanya, to pneumonia.

Despite this devastating loss, he has continued to find strength and resilience in his work and family.

As a testament to his popularity, William Roache has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to television.

This prestigious honor recognizes his outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry.

In his spare time, Roache enjoys painting and is a talented artist.

His artwork reflects his creativity and passion for self-expression.

Roache has also dabbled in the music industry, releasing a single called “Coronation Street” in 1968.

The song became a hit and reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.

William Roache is committed to living a healthy lifestyle.

He follows a vegetarian diet and has been a strong advocate for a plant-based way of living.

Roache is known for his philanthropic efforts.

He has supported various charitable organizations and uses his platform to raise awareness for important causes.

Despite his longevity in the entertainment industry, Roache remains dedicated to perfecting his craft.

He continues to attend acting workshops and embraces the opportunity to learn and grow as an actor.

Roache’s portrayal of Ken Barlow has become an iconic part of television history.

His character’s enduring presence has captivated audiences for over six decades.

William Roache’s performance on “Coronation Street” has inspired generations of actors.

Many aspiring stars look up to him as a role model and a source of inspiration.

Roache has traveled extensively and has a deep appreciation for different cultures and traditions.

His experiences have enriched his understanding of the world and influenced his approach to storytelling.

William Roache has a strong work ethic and is known for his professionalism on set.

His commitment to his craft and his dedication to delivering the best performance possible has earned him immense respect from his peers.

Roache is an advocate for mental health awareness.

He understands the importance of destigmatizing mental health issues and promoting overall well-being.

Throughout his career, Roache has taken on challenging storylines and tackled sensitive subjects.

His ability to portray complex emotions and deliver powerful performances has cemented his status as one of the industry’s finest actors.

Roache is a beloved figure both in the United Kingdom and around the world.

His kind nature, talent, and genuine connection with his audience have made him a cherished icon.

William Roache’s legacy as Ken Barlow will forever be etched in television history.

His portrayal of this iconic character has left an indelible mark on the industry and will continue to captivate audiences for years to come.

Whether it’s his remarkable career on “Coronation Street,” his dedication to his craft, or his inspiring personal journey, William Roache has become a true legend in the world of entertainment.


In conclusion, William Roache is a fascinating individual with a wide range of accomplishments and experiences. From his long-standing portrayal of Ken Barlow on Coronation Street to his spiritual beliefs and philanthropic efforts, Roache has captivated audiences and left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry.

His dedication to both his craft and personal growth is evident in his commitment to continuously evolve and maintain his relevance in the ever-changing world of showbiz. With a career spanning over six decades, Roache has solidified his status as a beloved celebrity and icon.

As we have explored in this article, William Roache’s life is filled with intriguing facts and achievements that make him truly unique. From his Guinness World Record to his passion for holistic healing, Roache’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary.


1. What is William Roache famous for?

William Roache is best known for his role as Ken Barlow on the long-running British soap opera, Coronation Street. He has been a part of the show since its inception in 1960, making him the longest-serving actor in a continuous role on a TV soap.

2. How old is William Roache?

As of September 2021, William Roache is 89 years old. He was born on April 25, 1932.

3. Has William Roache won any awards for his acting?

Yes, William Roache has received accolades for his exceptional portrayal of Ken Barlow. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards in 2000 and was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the longest-serving actor in a continuous role on a TV soap.

4. Does William Roache have any other talents or hobbies?

Apart from acting, William Roache is known for his interest in spirituality and holistic healing. He practices meditation, has written books on the subject, and is a strong advocate for well-being and positivity.

5. Has William Roache been involved in any philanthropic endeavors?

Yes, William Roache has been involved in various charitable activities. He has supported organizations like Global Angels and is an ambassador for the charity WaterAid, which works to provide clean water and sanitation facilities to communities in need around the world.

6. Is William Roache still actively working in the entertainment industry?

Yes, as of now, William Roache is still a part of Coronation Street and continues to portray the character of Ken Barlow. He has expressed his commitment to the show and his desire to continue acting for as long as possible.

William Roache's incredible journey as a beloved British actor is truly inspiring. If you enjoyed learning about his life and career, why not explore more fascinating facts about other notable figures and topics? Discover the captivating story of Tom Holland, another talented British actor making waves in Hollywood. For those interested in the world of television, uncover the must-know facts about ITV Hub, a popular streaming application. And if you're a fan of soap operas, don't miss our article on the movie Soapdish, which offers a humorous behind-the-scenes look at the genre.

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