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John Aubrey Conway Howarth, MBE (19 February 1896 – 31 March 1984) was an English television actor best known for his role as grumpy but likeable war veteran Albert Tatlock in the TV series Coronation Street between 1960 and 1984; before this he had a lengthy career in theatre, and in the radio soap opera Mrs. Dale's Diary

Jack Howarth

John Aubrey Conway Howarth

(1896-02-19)19 February 1896
Died31 March 1984(1984-03-31) (aged 88)
Resting placeAshes buried in Colwyn Bay
Years active1908–1984
Sarah Murgatroyd
(m. 1929; his death 1984)


Early lifeEdit

Born at 96 Mitchell Street, Rochdale, Lancashire, Howarth was the son of comedian Bert Howarth, and went to school with the singer and actress Gracie Fields.

As a child he sold theatre programmes at the Theatre Royal, Rochdale, and in 1908 at the age of twelve he began playing juvenile roles on stage.

He married Sarah E. "Betty" Murgatroyd at St Mary and St Peter Parish Church, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire,[1] on 25 July 1929. They were married until his death 55 years later. They had a son, John Jr. (born 1930).


Howarth ran a small cinema after the outbreak of the First World War, having been a member of the Lancashire Fusiliers during that war. From 1935, Howarth also ran his own theatre in Colwyn Bay, taking most of the male roles himself, due to the lack of men available to play the parts.

Howarth toured the country in theatre performances where he met and married his wife Betty in Hull in July 1929. He also appeared in a number of films including The Man in the White Suit (1951) and Hobson's Choice (1954).

Coronation StreetEdit

Howarth made his Coronation Street debut in the first episode in December 1960 and appeared in over 1,700 episodes until his final appearance on 25 January 1984. He hadn't been written out, but was having a spell of time away and was due to return to the set in late April 1984.


On 31 March 1984, Howarth died in Llandudno General Hospital from kidney failure and pneumonia, aged 88, with his wife and son John at his bedside. He was cremated six days later at Colwyn Bay. His death meant that Bill Roache, who played Albert Tatlock's nephew-in-law, Ken Barlow, was the only original actor left in the show at that time.

Albert Tatlock was written out shortly after Howarth's death, dying off-screen in the episode aired on 14 May 1984.


Howarth was the subject of This Is Your Life in November 1974 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews on the set of Coronation Street. At first he refused to go on but changed his mind.

Howarth was made an MBE in 1983 for his charity work, especially for supporting the disabled and children with general learning difficulties.


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