John Harold "Jack" Duckworth was a character in Coronation Street intermittently from 1979 to 1981 but full time from 1981 to 2010. He was the loveable rogue husband of Vera Duckworth. Jack was played by actor Bill Tarmey.
John Harold Duckworth was born on the 7th Novemebr 1936, the eldest child of Harold Duckworth and Maggie Duckworth. A brother Clifford Duckworth was born in about 1938. The family lived in Weatherfield. In 1957 Jack met Vera Burton and they married on the 15th August 1957 when Jack was almost 21 and Vera was 19. They had one child, Terence Edgar Duckworth on the 4th June 1964. Jack was a taxi driver and had a roving eye for the ladies. He was also a verbal punchbag for Vera. She nagged him to the end. Jack could also be workshy.
In November 1979, Jack Duckworth attended the wedding of Brian Tilsley and Gail Potter, as he was the husband of their friend Vera. Jack started to make The Rovers Return, Coronation Street his local, as Vera worked in the factory opposite. Jack became good friends with Rovers potman Fred Gee. Jack also drunk with Stan Ogden, who was workshy like Jack was, and who was also a verbal punchbag from his wife Hilda Ogden. In 1983, Jack joined a dating agency as American Vince St. Clair. Vera found out and she attacked him with her handbag in front of all the laughing customers.
In 1983, Jack and Vera and their son Terry moved into Number 9 Coronation Street. Jack used to do some dodgy deals with Fred Gee such as selling shirts. While Fred's boss Mike Baldwin was away on business, Fred paraded as Mike, the owner of the factory. Mike found out and later sacked Fred in November 1984. Fred left the area completely and lost contact with Jack and other Coronation Street residents. Jack acquired Fred's old job as Rovers potman.
In June 1986 Jack was foolishly responsible for starting the Rovers fire when he installed the wrong fuse in the cellar. The switch flickered and let off sparks before igniting. The fire took a while to spread as it was contained in the cellar to begin with. Bet was rescued when Sally saw smoke billowing from the pub.
In January 2008, Jack was widowed after Vera passed away suddenly in her chair, dampening their plans to move to Blackpool together.
Over a year later Jack met a woman named Connie Rathbone who loved pigeons also. The pair struck up a close friendship, although Tyrone became jealous and believed Jack was moving on from Vera too soon. But Jack had no interest in pursuing another relationship and put Tyrone's mind at rest. In September 2009, Jack felt he was getting in the way of Tyrone and Molly's marriage and took up Connie's offer to move in with her, moving on from No.9 after 26 years. However he continued to make some visits, such as for the Christmas period and in early 2010 when Molly and Tyrone were involved in a car accident.
Tyrone decided to name the son of him and Molly Jack, although he was unaware that the child was actually that of his best friend Kevin Webster as a result in an affair between him and Molly.
That year, Jack was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and given only a few weeks to live. He suddenly returned to No.9 without explaining why, and it was up to Connie to return and convince to tell them the truth of the matter. Tyrone was understandable devastated, but Jack stated he wanted to make his final weeks count. Tyrone decided to throw a surprise party at the Rovers for Jack's birthday.
Jack overheard a conversation between Molly and Kevin which revealed that Kevin was the biological father of baby Jack. During his party in the Rovers Jack spoke to Molly over the incident, and she assured Jack that she loved Tyrone. He told her that her and Tyrone should leave Weatherfield together as it was the only way to really put behind the affair.
Jack slipped out from the party and returned to No.9. He slumped in his chair and began drifting away, telling Vera that he was tired. Vera appeared telling Jack to come with her and that their bus would be leaving soon. The pair of them shared a kiss and a dance, before Jack passed away.
- In a 1976 episode, Jack was said to have a sister, as Vera mentioned her. However Jack's sister was never mentioned again.
- Due to Bill Tarmey's failing health, it was decided for him to appear as a background character. The character of Connie Rathbone was created in 2009 to accommodate this, and Jack moved away from the street to be with her that year. In 2010 it was announced Bill Tarmey would be exiting the show for good, and he departed in November that year. His friend and former co-star Liz Dawn reprised the role as a vision (or possible ghost) of Vera Duckworth for Jack's exit.
Appearances: 28 November–3 December 1979, 18–20 May 1981, 17 August–16 September 1981, 12 April–9 June 1982, 13 September 1982–8 November 2010
Full Name: John Harold Duckworth
Siblings: Clifford Duckworth
Spouse: Vera Burton (1957-2008)
Children: Terry Duckworth (1964)
Grandchildren: Tommy Duckworth