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Friday, 3 August 2012

Corrie originals - Anne Cunningham as Linda Cheveski

This is the last in the series of posts about the original cast of Coronation Street. I do hope you've enjoyed them.

First appearance: 9th December 1960

Last appearance: 20th June 1984

Anne Cunningham played the role of Elsie Tanner’s daughter Linda Cheveski between 1960 and 1961 and made guest appearances in 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1984.

Born in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1937, Cunningham immigrated with her parents to South Africa at a young age. She returned to the UK in 1953 where she trained to be a nurse before enrolling at The Bristol Old Vic where she managed to play roles in Shakespearean plays. In 1960, she was cast in the role of 20 year old Linda Cheveski in new drama serial Coronation Street and debuted in the first episode. Linda had married Pole Ivan Cheveski in 1958 and their marriage was tempestuous. They nearly separated in 1960 but when Linda announced she was pregnant they reconciled and son Paul was born in 1961. After living on the street for a few months, the Cheveskis left for Canada in December 1961. They returned for Christmas 1962 where Linda confided in mum Elsie she wasn’t happy in Canada but returned to Montreal anyway. She also suspected that her mother was having an affair with Len Fairclough. The Cheveskis visited again in 1966 when Ivan and Linda faced another marriage crisis but when Paul fell into the canal they once again reconciled and moved to Birmingham. They visited again in 1967 for Elsie’s wedding to Steve Tanner and over Christmas that year and Linda attended brother Dennis’ wedding to Jenny Sutton in 1968.

Cunningham reprised the role of Linda 16 years later when she was brought back to deal with the sale of Elsie’s house after she moved to Portugal. During her stint, Linda was said to be divorcing Ivan and she fell for builder Bill Webster, who was renovating the house and later bought the house even though she was desperate to stay put. Bill was unaware of Linda’s feelings towards him. During her last stint on the show, Cunningham felt the programme had changed and the rapport between the cast had vanished and that is why her stay was brief. The producers had hoped she would become a permanent character in a bid to continue the Tanner dynasty, as they did with the reintroduction of Billy Walker to continue the Walker dynasty at the Rovers but Ken Farrington, who played Billy, also left at the end of 1984. Cunningham reprised her role as Linda in Corrie spin off video The Life and Loves of Elsie Tanner in 1987, a tribute to Pat Phoenix who’d died in 1986. In the video, Linda, with Emily Bishop and Mike Baldwin, reminisced about Elsie’s life. It was referred to that Elsie had passed away but in 2011 it was revealed by Elsie’s son Dennis that she had died in 2004 so the video is not canon. Overall, Cunningham appeared in 106 episodes.

When not playing Linda, Cunningham has had roles in Z Cars (1962-1963), World of his Own (1964-1965), Play of the Week (1963-1965), The Avengers (1966), Dixon of Dock Green (1975), Are You Being Served? (1976), Crown Court (1975-1976), The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin (1976), The Nineteenth Hole (1989), The Cazalets (2001) and Henry the Otter (2007). She appeared as herself in Corrie documentary 50 Years, 50 Moments in 2010 to note the soap’s golden anniversary.

In 1965 she married Darrol Blake, who would become a Corrie director and they had twins. She lives in London and ran an antiques shop with former on-screen hubby Ernst Walder. 

Have you ever seen or met Anne Cunningham? Do you know any trivia about her?

Research from Corriepedia, IMDB and Corrie Net.

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matto79 said...

She's currently in a series of Boots adverts:

Would love to see her back!

John in Cincinnati said...

I would love to see her come back, even if briefly. Isn't Linda supposed to be in Birmingham? and she couldn't come to her brother's wedding?

A nice story line with her and Bill again maybe?

Anything to stop this Kristy thing..

Anonymous said...

I heard that this character was the Tracy Barlow of an earlier era - sponging off her mother, being rude and bitchy, and a bit of a man eater. Was that how her character was?

Anonymous said...

Come back Linda !! even if its for a short time !!

Anonymous said...

I think she should come back for a visit, with her sons ( Elsie's grandsons) Paul and Martin ! -they would be both be in there 40s or early 50s now, so could even have children of there own - even more of a Tanner Dynasty !!!
maybe bring back Jason Lomax- Ena's great grandson and have some Tanner/Sharples rows ! ... sorry I am getting carried away haha


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