Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Happy Birthday, Vera

ELIZABETH DAWN, MBE (our Vera Duckworth)

Born: November 8, 1939 in Leeds, Yorkshire

Birth name: Sylvia Butterfield

At the age of sixteen, Liz Dawn left school and started working in a local tailoring factory. She then took on various jobs including being a cinema usherette, a shoe salesgirl and a light bulb seller in Woolworths.

At age 18, Liz married her first husband. She gave birth to their son Graham in 1958 but the following year, the couple divorced. Liz met electrician Donald Ibbertson and became pregnant. Liz and Donald married in January 1965 and their first daughter, Dawn Elizabeth, was born in March1965. A second daughter, Ann-Marie, was born in 1966 and another daughter, Julie, was born in 1968.

Liz began her show business career by singing on the northern club scene.

In 1974, Liz joined the cast of Coronation Street and teamed up with Jack Duckworth five years later.

In May 2000, Liz was made lady mayoress of her home city of Leeds. Liz has also made it into the pages of Burke’s Landed Gentry.

In October 2000 she was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for hospitals in the Manchester and Leeds area. The Liz Dawn Breast Cancer Appeal established by Liz Dawn and Councillor B P Atha in 1996 continues to raise substantial sums every year. Liz was given an honorary doctorate by Leeds Metropolitan University for her volunteer work.

Liz is co-owner of the Old Grapes pub in Manchester.

Liz recently signed a new one-year deal to stay on the Street. Despite health problems, she said: "I'm very happy on the show and have no intention of quitting."

Join me in raising your glasses in a birthday toast to our Vera, Liz Dawn.

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