Coronation Street star Maureen Lipman’s TV career has grown rapidly over the years, thanks to her first acting gig as Evelyn Plummer on Coronation Street in 1968.
The acclaimed ITV actress has become a well-known household name, with a fulfilling life on and off-camera.
While on Corrie, Maureen has played a number of roles, including Lillian Spencer for six episodes in 2002 and Tyrone Dobbs’ (Alan Halsall) battle-axe grandmother Evelyn Plummer since 2018.
Her character is currently struggling with her daughter Cassie Plummer (Claire Sweeney), who recently recurred on the beloved ITV soap, and being found by her granddaughter Hope Dobbs (Isabella Flanagan).
Let’s learn about Maureen Lippman’s life, from the Helen Mirren controversy to her heartbreaking marriage.
Acting career before Coronation Street
Maureen’s first acting gig was as Sylvie on Up the Junction in 1968, and after that, she played a number of small roles for the first few years.
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She also starred as Gloria in Casanova 1973, Sarah Lewis in Crown Court 1974, and Jane Lucas in Agony from 1979 to 1981.
Maureen has starred in films such as Barbara Bostock as Captain Jack in 1999 and Aunt Eller in Oklahoma! 1999.
The 77-year-old actor starred in Doctor Who as The Wire in 2006, Ladies of Letters as Irene Spencer from 2009 to 2010, Holby City as Bonnie Walters in 2011 and Midsomer Murders as Mags Dormer in 2012.
Feud with Helen Mirren
Maureen is similar to her character Evelyn Plummer, known for her outspoken opinions, which recently included Helen Mirren.
Corey Starr, who is Jewish, recently criticized the casting of Helen as former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
She said she was uncomfortable with the idea of Helen playing the role of Meir because she is not Jewish.
Speaking to The Jewish Chronicle, he explained: “I disagree with it because the Jewishness of the character is so integral. I’m sure she would be wonderful, but Ben Kingsley would never be allowed to play Nelson Mandela.
“You can’t just go there. Maybe you need a panel of people who say this is not acceptable, this is acceptable.”
Maureen also spoke about her issues with Mirren on Good Morning Britain, where she said: “I don’t mind playing with Helen (her).
“My question is whether the casting directors should have looked first at Bette Midler or Barbra Streisand or Jennifer Connelly, or Scarlett Johansson – and maybe they did, or in fact, I probably would have gone to Tracey Ullman, who She is a wonderful actress.”
Marriage and heartbreaking loss
The TV star was married twice.
Her first husband, Jack Rosenthal, was a Coronation Street screenwriter, who wrote 250 episodes.
Sadly, Jack died in 2004, leaving Maureen to marry her most recent husband, Guido Castro.
The acclaimed actress was married to the businessman for 13 years, but in 2021, he tragically passed away after a battle with coronavirus left him “weak.”
The star attributes his death to Parkinson’s disease.
They said Guido, 84, contracted the virus a few days after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
During the Gogglebox episode, she spoke about his death and said: “He got Covid – it wasn’t Covid that killed him but it made him very weak.
“We don’t know how he got it or when he got it or when he got the vaccine. It was not a good way.
“You can’t express what it’s like when you’re in this (protective gear) and not be able to touch somebody, and they’re in that, and then there’s a screen, and you see them disintegrate into life.” Can, and you can do nothing.
“And finally, you know, the daughters and I were coming in through a French window, and sitting there – masks, gloves, pinnies.”
Maureen recently brought her “gentleman friend” David to the National Television Awards and told the Sunday Express the couple would “see where it goes.”
Maureen starred in the popular Channel 4 show This Morning star and all-star celebrity spin-off with royal correspondent Giles Brandreth.
Her honest opinions and outspoken comments were seen throughout her time on the show, making her and Giles fan favourites.
In 2021, after ceasing to edit the show, Maureen announced her departure.
While on the Loose Women panel in November 2021, she said: “I’ve seen all the male tackles I need to see in this lifetime. To be honest, I really have.
“I’ve gone through my phase of (surprised voices), ‘Oh, take it off!’ Giles loves it, he absolutely loves it, and we had a great time, but none of the clever things we said went into it… so no.”
Cory’s first dame
In 2021, Maureen became the first lady of Coronation Street after receiving the honor from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle.
After receiving the honour, when he was informed of the decision, he said: “The biggest secret of my life for two painful months”.
“It has taken a long time because I heard about it in 2020, and then I couldn’t collect it.
“And so that coat you bought becomes something you don’t want to wear. Then it becomes, ‘What the hell am I going to wear on my head?’
“Finally, I went to Coronation Street, and I said, ‘Do you have any charms in your wardrobe?’ And they gave me seven.”
She received a Dame Award for services to charity, entertainment and the arts.