Barry Letts (26th March 1925 to 9th October 2009) was the last adult actor cast in an episode of Coronation Street prior to the Equity actors' strike of 1961 to 1962. He appeared as Mr. Wentworth, Ken Barlow's first boss in his working career in two episodes broadcast in October and November 1961, recorded just prior to the start of the strike on 1st November.
Born in Leicester, his first job after leaving school was as an assistant stage manager. Following service in the Royal Navy in the Second World War, he became an actor in repertory theatre, graduating to roles in films and television in the 1940s and 1950s in productions such as Scott of the Antarctic, The Cruel Sea, Reach for the Sky, The Silver Sword, Maigret, The Avengers, The Man in Room 17 (also for Granada), several episodes of Z Cars and Public Eye.
In 1967 he had a career change when he became a television director, working on The Newcomers and Doctor Who and it was the latter programme more than any other with which his name became associated when he became its producer in 1969, staying in that role until 1975 during the tenure of Jon Pertwee and the start of Tom Baker's time in the role (Letts was himself responsible for casting the unknown Baker in the part). In the late 1970s he became producer of the BBC's Sunday evening series of classic serial adaptations. Following his retirement from the BBC in 1985, he continued to write and direct for, among others, Brookside and a short series of radio productions of Doctor Who.