Jack Howarth MBE (19th February, 1896 - 31st March, 1984) was a British actor best known for his role as the grumpy but lovable pensioner Albert Tatlock in over 1300 episodes of Coronation Street. Born in Rochdale, Lancashire, he was the son of comedian Bert Howarth, and he attended school with Gracie Fields.
In 1908 Jack began playing theatre roles at the age of twelve with Churchill's Minstrels in The Happy Valley, Llandudno, and after World War I, in which he'd been a member of the Lancashire Fusiliers, he ran a small cinema. After touring the country's theatres he married Betty in Hull in July 1929. Jack made over a hundred television apperaances from 1947 until he started on the Street, in such programmes as BBC Sunday Night Theatre and ITV Play Of The Week. Immediately prior to taking on the role of Albert, one of his last television parts was in the Granada series Knight Errant Limited in an episode broadcast on 1st December 1960 and directed by Eric Price who would also direct early episodes of the Street.
Jack appeared in the very first episode of Coronation Street, and his final appearance was on 25th January 1984. The previous year he had been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Jack Howarth died in Llandudno General Hospital on the evening of 31st March, 1984, aged 88, with his wife and son John at his bedside. He was cremated six days later at Colwyn Bay.
A man with a quiet but cutting wit, Jack Rosenthal recalled a comment made after the read-through of his very first script for the programme (Episode 30 (27th March 1961)) when a member of the production team wondered if it was too lengthy and Howarth commented that it was thirty minutes too long for him. John Finch also recalled meeting Howarth in the foyer of Granada when Howarth had received and read one of his scripts and icily told him he was "going home to learn my line".