|Born||7th November 1936|
|Died||7th November 2010|
|Spouse(s)||Veronica Burton (1957)|
|Children||Terry Duckworth (1964)|
|First appearance||28th November 1979|
|Last appearance||8th November 2010|
|Number of appearances||2086|
|Played by||William Tarmey|
John Harold "Jack" Duckworth was the husband of Vera and father of Terry. The Duckworths lived at 9 Coronation Street from 1983 until 2010, although Jack and Vera also owned and lived at the Rovers Return Inn from 1995 to 1998.
Jack loved beer, his pigeons, and gambling, but most of all he loved his moments away from Vera; despite their obvious love for each other Jack and Vera were always rowing and, in the early years of the marriage, playing away. Despite being no pushover, Jack could appear to be under battleaxe Vera's thumb as he usually let her have her way so he could have peace and quiet. However, they were one of the Street's strongest couples as they were always down-on-their-luck and when times were hard (which they always were) they closed ranks.
This was true particularly where their son Terry was concerned. Like Jack, Terry was a bit of a jack-the-lad, but Terry had little regard for other people and used them for his own ends. The Duckworths suffered as Vera always believed that Terry was turning over a new leaf, only for Terry to abuse her faith and hurt her, leaving Jack to pick up the pieces. Jack was never fooled but usually gave him a chance for Vera's sake.
Another area where Jack didn't have much luck was work. After a few years working as a taxi driver, Jack got a job as a cellarman at the Rovers in 1985. A layabout, Jack didn't enjoy cellar work and he often had to put up with being the butt of the other staff's jokes. Ten years later, the Duckworths dream came true when they used money they inherited after Jack's brother Clifford died to buy the Rovers, but the endeavour was not successful and the couple were bought out by Alec Gilroy in 1997.
After some time running Park Road B&B, the Duckworths returned to No.9. They spent the later years of their lives playing surrogate parents to Tyrone Dobbs, who became more of a son to them than Terry had been. They were planning to retire to Blackpool, as their grandson Tommy lived there, but Vera died in her sleep in 2008 and Jack decided to stay in Weatherfield. He passed away in 2010 after contracting Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, having spent the last year of his life living with fellow pigeon-lover Connie Rathbone (although they were just friends).
Jack was born to parents Harry and Maggie Duckworth in 1936 and brought up on Butler Street. While working at a British Fairground Ride, the Waltzer, he met Vera Burton and they began a relationship. They got married in 1958 and had a son called Terry.
Married Life to VeraEdit
During a trip to the United States, Jack confessed to having lied at their wedding (by making a smudge on his year of birth to make it look like another number), and said he was two years older than he really was just to impress a young Vera. Since they were not legally married, they tied the knot in the famous Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas baby.
The Duckworth marriage was always rocky, owing in part to their wayward son, Terry, and extra-marital flings by both Jack and Vera. In 1982, Jack had an affair with the street's prolific man-eater Bet Lynch, which she later regretted. He enrolled with a video dating agency in 1983, calling himself Vince St. Clair and adopted a white suit, gold medallion and fake trans-Atlantic accent. Vera, alerted by Bet Lynch, arranged to meet Jack under the name of Carole Munroe. The meeting took place in the Rovers Return pub, with Vera wearing a ginger wig. This led to a classic confrontation; 'Carole Munroe' had been claiming to be a rich widow, which led Jack to say "You're no flamin' widow!" As Vera swiped Jack with her handbag she shouted "No! But I will be ten minutes after I get you home!"
Vera also had her fair share of lovers. She was tempted by a former romance in with the smarmy Lestor Fontaine, but realised she could never leave Jack. In the year 2000, when she believed she was about to die in an operation, she confessed to Jack through a goodbye letter that Terry may not have been his real son due to a fling early in their marriage. Jack confessed to Curly Watts that he knew of the affair at the time (and put an end to it by beating up her lover unknown to Vera), but also knew that Terry was his son, as he reminded him too much of himself.
The Duckworth grandchildrenEdit
The Duckworths had three grandchildren: Paul (by Andrea Clayton), Tommy (by Lisa Horton), and Brad (by Tricia Armstrong), but they hardly saw any of them due to Terry's reluctance to be a father. Paul was conceived in the mid-1980s, but the teenage Andrea Clayton fled with her family to escape Terry. In the early 1990s, Terry made his then girlfriend, Lisa Horton, pregnant. He was imprisoned but vowed to marry her, and the pair were delighted when Terry was allowed out of prison (although handcuffed) for one day only for his wedding. They duly married but the groom escaped from the police and went on the run a very very long run indeed. He was later re-captured in a supermarket car park, where he had lingered too long in order to tell Lisa how much he loved her and that the flight from the wedding was just opportunistic and didn't reflect on their relationship.
However, she knew that Terry was a rogue and always would be, so she broke off their relationship and, despite being pregnant, set up home with Des Barnes at No. 6. Vera turned against her instantly, even accusing her of being the reason for Terry's misfortune. Jack however knew that Terry would never stand by his family, but felt duty bound to stand by his wife in their shunning of Lisa. She gave birth to a little boy, Tommy, and everything seemed perfect for their surrogate family, until one night Lisa was killed by a car as she was leaving the Rovers and crossing the street.
Following this tragedy, Tommy went to live with his paternal grandparents, but Jack and Vera found it hard to cope. They also suffered financially. A callous Terry sold his son to his maternal grandparents, the Hortons of Blackpool, despite Vera's impassioned pleas. Jack's response to Terry's actions was more straightforward and uncompromising - he punched Terry on the jaw.
Terry's one-night stand with barmaid called Tricia Armstrong resulted in baby Brad, but Terry didn't want to know about his son, and Tricia left with a new lover, Ray Thorpe. The Duckworths tried several times to win custody of Tommy from the Hortons, but to no avail. They continued to see him occasionally, but relations remained strained.
Later Years and Losing VeraEdit
Jack and Vera calmed down in their later years, becoming more of a down-to-earth northern couple. They became surrogate parents for Tyrone Dobbs (whose mother, Jackie, had been in prison for violence). Jack considered him to be more his own son than Terry ever was. Jack adored his pigeons, though Vera could not stand them, and once tricked him into believing that she had cooked him a pigeon pie. In 2005? Jack agreed to sell his dead body for a certain sum of cash to an artist who enjoys painting stuffed humans, so he could buy Vera a Christmas present. When Vera discovered this, she argued with the woman. The artist was in spired to ask both Jack and Vera to pose nude for the artist, on condition that they would be buried as normal. The Duckworths celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary with a party at the Rovers in August 2007.
Vera died suddenly on 18th January 2008 in the armchair at her house, where she was discovered by a devastated Jack. They had been planning to move to Blackpool at the time, but Vera's death prompted Jack to call off the move and remain in Weatherfield. He still planned on selling the house to Tyrone and Molly Compton and eventually did so but still remained resident.
Jack began a friendship with a pigeon lover called Connie in 2009, although Tyrone didn't approve as he saw her just wanting to replace Vera. But Tyrone eventually accepted her and put behind his stubborness.
Last few months and DeathEdit
In 2010, Jack contracted cancer and was told he only had a matter of weeks to live. On 7th November, he enjoyed a gathering at the Rovers for his 74th birthday before he headed home. He looked around at the thriving street for the last time, returned home to his living room and listened to one of Vera's favourite records as he fell asleep. He woke up to a familiar voice and saw the spirit of Vera standing in front of him, beckoning him to join her. As Jack believed he was enjoying a romantic dance with Vera, he peacefully passed away in his armchair. Tyrone, Molly and Connie found Jack's body shortly afterwards, and Tyrone said an emotional farewell to his 'dad'.
- 'Oh Aye' (First line, when Vera introduces him to Bet Lynch)
- "I'll give you three guesses" (Final Line)
- Before William Tarmey first appeared as Jack Duckworth in 1979, he was an extra on the show, and made background appearances, normally in the Rovers Return. In December 1978, he played a minor speaking role as Jack Rowe.
- Having been seen briefly in late November 1979, the character of Jack Duckworth did not feature in the show in 1980. He became a semi-regular in 1981, and a Street resident and regular character in 1983.
- From September 2009 onwards, Jack Duckworth became a recurring character, due to Tarmey's failing health. He quit in 2010 and the character departed on-screen in November 2010.
- Although Jack died on 7th November 2010, the episode depicting this was in fact broadcast on 8th November 2010.