Jennifer Moss became famous for playing Coronation Street’s original teenage rebel Lucille Hewitt from the programme’s opening episodes in 1960. She remained with the soap for 13 years until alcoholism forced her to leave the show in 1973.
Born in Wigan on January 10, 1945, the daughter of mill director Reg and drama teacher wife Dora, she was educated at Wigan High School for Girls. At the age of 12 she worked on the BBC Radio show Children’s Hour, alongside Tony Warren, who went on to create and write Coronation Street.
At 16 she joined Coronation Street and quickly became one of the show’s most popular characters with the public. By the time she left the show she had appeared in over 1000 episodes.
When her father died she began drinking heavily and her career suffered. She squandered her money and was frequently in the headlines. “I was suddenly let loose with a load of money,” she said. “I just blew it.”
She spent 26 years fighting alcoholism and endured a string of failed marriages. She took various jobs as a waitress and a taxi driver but there were also court appearances for breaking and entering and shoplifting, a charge of which she was cleared.
In the eighties she returned to acting and worked in shows such as The Merseysiders, Brookside and the Bread Christmas Special. She also played Steve McGann’s mother in Help and made appearances in BBC’s Hetty Wainthrop Investigates.
Although she suffered ill health in recent years she poignantly worked as a tour guide on the set of Coronation Street. In 2000 she was one of the subjects of the ITV series After They Were Famous.
She joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 1978. “When you’ve had money and you go to that sort of level, there are two places you can go,” she said. “You can either go out in a coffin or you can decide you’ve had enough.”
She died on October 5, aged 61. She is survived by her fifth husband Steve Ramsden.
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