Barbara Knox has had a long career in the English entertainment industry as an actress, best known for her Rita Sullivan role in Coronation Street. The 90-year-old has also featured in Feel the Width (1966–1977), George and the Dragon (1966), and A Family at War (1971).
In her private life, she has been married twice to Denis Mullaney and John Knox. Both marriages ended in divorce, but she had three children from her first marriage to Mullaney.
Barbara Knox was Born as an Only Child to Her Parents
Knox was born Barbara Brothwood on September 30, 1933. The actress was born in a town in Greater Manchester known as Oldham in Lancashire, North West England.
She was born the only child of her mother, Emma Brothwood, and her father, Tom Brothwood. Her mother worked in a mill, while her father was a fireman who also worked as a molder at a foundry.
She Quit School at the Age of 15
Barbara Knox was attending school before she quit at the age of 15. Then she learned shorthand and typing and passed the Civil Service exams.
Still, at that young age, the actress gained a job as a telegraphist in the Post Office. She also worked in other offices, shops, and factories before she later became famous as an actress.
How Barbara’s Career as an Actress Started
Knox was a civil servant who also showed her acting skills. At the early stage of her career, she was involved in amateur theater work.
She was later featured as Rita in Coronation Street in 1964, where she appeared in over 3,000 episodes of the series. She became the most-featured star in the series after William Roache.
In the earliest days of her career, Knox was known as Barbara Mullaney, a name she adopted from her then-husband, Denis Mullaney. Other series she featured in at the time include Emergency War 10 (1966–1967), Mr. Rose (1967), George and the Dragon (1966), and The Dustbinmen (1969).
While she has featured more in TV series, she has not restricted her career to only that part of acting. Knox has played several roles in mainstream films.
From Her Thriving Career, Knox has Won Several Awards
The Lancashire native has received several award nominations and other accolades for her contributions to the movie industry. One of her greatest roles, Rita Sullivan alone, has won her no fewer than four awards. Here is a list of her other achievements.
- In 1989, Babara won 2 awards from TV Times and Oracle Telext for Best Actress for her role in Coronation Street.
- Also, Coronation Street won her another Oracle Teletext Award for Best Actress in 1990.
- In 2004, Knox was a recipient of the British Soap Award for Lifetime Achievement.
- The.. year-old actress won the British Soap Award for Best On-Screen Partnership with retired English actor Malcolm Hebden in 2006.
- She was nominated for Best Serial Drama Performance at the National Television Award in 2018.
- One of Barbara Knox’s greatest achievements was being appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to drama. She received the honor in the 2010 Birthday Honours.
Is Barbara Knox Alive?
The actress is alive and still shows her prowess in public. She appeared on Coronation Street in 2023. The actress has also not retired, as she gained a new acting gig in 2023 and will also continue with her role as Rita Sullivan in Coronation Street.
Despite being alive, the A Family at War actress battled with cancer twice.
There is barely any information now about her health and life outside of her career as an actress.
Everything to Know About Barbara Knox’s Love Life
Knox has been married twice. She was first married to Denis Mullaney in 1956, when she was about 23 years old. They became the parents of three children.
In 1977, 21 years after Barbara was married, she divorced Mullaney. This would lead to her changing her stage name.
The same year she was divorced from her first husband, Barbara became married to John Knox. This resulted in her adopting “Knox” as her stage name as she became Barbara Knox.
The marriage lasted 22 years before a divorce in 1994. Since then, she has led a quiet love life.
Who are Her Children?
Knox is the mother of three children, born to her from her first marriage to Denis Mullaney. The children are Maxine, John, and Amanda.
While they are all grown up now, they live private lives.