Strong women characters of Coronation Street : Elsie Tanner by Margaret Sanderson

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Strong women characters of Coronation Street : Elsie Tanner by 

Elsie Tanner (previously Howard ) was a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Coronation Street, played by Patricia Phoenix from 1960 to 1973 and from 1976 until 1984. Elsie Tanner was one of the original core characters on Coronation Street and appeared in the very first episode. She is considered somewhat of an icon in soap history and regarded as one of Coronation Street’s greatest ever characters.

Pat Phoenix’s private life was fodder for tabloid stories. Her first marriage was to Peter Marsh, an actor. They married in Bradford Cathedral; the marriage lasted only a year. In 1972, she married her Coronation Street co-star Alan Browning, who had alcohol related problems and died from liver failure in 1979.

Later she married actor Antony Booth. Through this final marriage, Phoenix became mother-in-law to the then unknown back bencher Tony Blair who eleven years after her death became British Prime Minister, Pat campaigned for Tony in the 1983 General Election helping him win his first seat in a landslide majority. She also campaigned for Cherie Blair who came second in the safe Conservative seat Tatton. She was a lifelong supporter of the Labour Party and a practising Roman Catholic. Diagnosed with lung cancer in 1986 (her cigarette held fashionably in the portrait), she was to have only months to live and died in her sleep in September of the same year.

Prismacolor pencils on Bristol Board extra smooth surface,300 gsm,16 inches x 12 inches.


elsie tanner, pat phoenix, portrait, margaret sanderson

I’m a self-taught artist from the North of England and I like to inject a bit of humour wherever possible, whether it’s in my writing (see my poems), or my artwork.
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  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelover 3 years ago

    wow .. you have capture her to a T .. well done

  • Thanks LoneAngel!

    – Margaret Sanderson

  • maggie326
    maggie326over 3 years ago

    Awesome work

  • Thanks very much Maggie!

    – Margaret Sanderson

    GEORGE SANDERSONover 3 years ago

    Fabulous portrait and great info, Margaret !
    One of my all time favourite actresses !

  • Thanks very much George!

    – Margaret Sanderson

  • Woodie
    Woodieover 3 years ago

    I remember her well!! Marvellous artwork!!
    Did Elsie marry a “yank serviceman” called Tanner??
    (Remember “one yank and they were down”.)
    Cheers neil

  • Yes Neil, you’re right.
    Elsie married an ex-lover from the war, American serviceman Steve Tanner in 1967 (played by Canadian actor Paul Maxwell). Due to the massive popularity of Elsie during the 1960s, Steve was given the same surname so that Elsie would not have to change her name when married. Elsie left to live in America with Steve, but soon returned to Coronation Street after they split up. Steve (played by Shane Rimmer) came back to the UK in an attempt to win back Elsie, but shortly after his return he was found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. This led many of the residents of Coronation Street to be in the frame for murdering Steve, however it was later revealed that one of Steve’s former Servicemen, Joe Donelli had committed the crime.
    Thank heavens for Wikipedia. My memory isn’t that good! Those awful Yanks, seducing everything in a skirt. Thanks Neil.

    – Margaret Sanderson

  • Gary Fernandez
    Gary Fernandezover 3 years ago

    Great work Margaret, you’ve captured Elsie exactly as I remember her. If you ever tire of your pencils your eloquent use of the Queen’s english can paint an equally masterful picture.

  • That’s very kind of you Gary, but if it wasn’t for the www (wonderful worldwide web or whatever it’s called), I would have very little information to share, as my memory is completely fuddled.

    – Margaret Sanderson

  • Gary Fernandez
    Gary Fernandezover 3 years ago

    Your unique style brings your characters to life, congratulations Margaret.

  • Thanks Gary!

    – Margaret Sanderson

  • TeresaB
    TeresaBover 3 years ago

    February 15, 2011

  • Thanks Teresa!

    – Margaret Sanderson

  • Lynda Robinson
    Lynda Robinsonover 3 years ago

    Oh thank you VERY much Margaret! Now I have that blasted theme tune going around and around in my head!!!! Superb work by the way, and congratulations on the feature. (Now where did I put my Ena Sharples hairnet)?

  • Thanks Lynda. Name a theme tune you like, and I’ll try and do a character from it. That might be rather fun!

    – Margaret Sanderson

  • Lynda Robinson
    Lynda Robinsonover 3 years ago

    Well now you’ve said that I can’t think of one!!!!

  • Michael J Armijo
    Michael J Armijoover 3 years ago

    Inspiring detail!

  • Thanks a lot Michael!

    – Margaret Sanderson

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