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Tracy Barlow
Born 24th January 1977
Birthplace Weatherfield
Father Ray Langton
Mother Deirdre Barlow
Spouse(s) Robert Preston (1996)
Children Amy Barlow (2004)
First appearance 24th January 1977
Last appearance 8th April 2007
Duration 1977-1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002-2007
Played by Christabel Finch
Holly Chamarette
Dawn Acton
Kate Ford

Tracy Lynette Barlow (née Langton) is the Street's most troubled teenager. The victim of two broken marriages and four actresses, it's a wonder she's not any worse than she already is. Tracy grew from troubled teen to scheming adult and set a course of destruction which eventually led to a sentence of life imprisonment.

Contents

Biography

Childhood

Tracy was born to Deirdre and Ray Langton. She was eventually baptised at St Margaret's, Weatherfield by Reverend Smedley. Betty Turpin, Emily Bishop and prophetically Ken Barlow were her godparents.

Tracy faced upheaval at an early age when Ray's infidelity with a waitress rocked the Langton household. Husband and wife planned to move to Amsterdam to start over, but at the last minute, Deirdre couldn't go through with it, and stayed in Weatherfield as a single mother. Deirdre struggled to the breaking point -- in March 1979, she left Tracy's pram outside the Rovers shortly before a driver crashed his lorry into the front of the building. Deirdre nearly committed suicide before hearing that someone had taken Tracy from the pram before the crash.

Deirdre and Ken Barlow married in 1981, and for all intents and purposes, Tracy would from then on see Ken as her father. In September 1981 she started attending Bessie Street Junior School - prompting questions as to why she had a different name to her mother. Deirdre wrote to Ray asking to change Tracy's surname to Barlow - but he refused point blank. Eventually however, Ray allowed Ken to adopt Tracy.

Teen Troubles

Deirdre and Ken loved Tracy, but were far from perfect parents. Tracy ran away from home in 1985 and turned up on Susan Barlow's doorstep. Over time, Tracy turned into a sullen, trouble making teen. Deirdre was often away from home due to her job on the council, and Ken had an affair with his secretary. After Ken and Deirdre divorced in 1990, Tracy became resentful of her mother and blamed her for the divorce. She became friends with new neighbours Steve and Andy McDonald who were just a couple of years ahead of her. They started an illegal radio station using Ken's flat while he was away. Tracy nearly was burned in a kitchen fire but was saved by Dave Barton, a builder, who began dating her mother. Another one of Deirdre's boyfriends, Phil Jennings, ended up using Tracy to help him cash a cheque, as he was bankrupt and couldn't be seen having any income. Tracy had a crush on Phil and used this to her advantage but he didn't want anything to do with her.

When Ken began dating Maggie Redman, Tracy told Maggie's son Mark that his real father was Mike Baldwin. Ken was horrified that his old enemy had been involved with his new girlfriend and dropped Maggie. Tracy found out that her mother had an affair with Mike Baldwin and used it against her mother. She was working for Maggie Redmond at the time and Maggie told her as revenge for telling Mark that Mike was his natural father and fired her.

Drug Addiction

Tracy left home and lived with her boyfriend Craig Lee for a while but moved him into Number 1 after Deirdre begged her to come home. This didn't last very long and soon Tracy had left home. Tracy resented her mother's remarriage to Samir Rachid but grudgingly attended the wedding for long enough to say she'd been there. Several months later Tracy landed in hospital, having collapsed after taking ectsasy at a club. Her kidneys failed and she needed a transplant. Samir was tested and found to be a match but he was attacked on the way to the hospital and died. His kidney was used and Tracy was saved but Deirdre resented her daughter because of her carelessness with drugs ultimately costing Samir his life. She stated that she wished Tracy had died, not Samir. The distance between them made Tracy left for London.

Marriage to Robert Preston

She returned in 1997 with a fiance, Robert Preston in tow and got married in a charity shop dress and Doc Marten boots. She and Robert lived in London where he had a carpet fitting business and she worked in a flower shop. She returned several times, once after a row with Robert which resulted in Ken and Deirdre getting back together and one other time for Ken's 60th birthday.

Tracy Gone Bad

Tracy landed on the doorstep of Number 1 on Christmas Day, 2002, announcing that she'd left Robert for good this time. She claimed he'd cheated on her, and was so incensed that she even threw her wedding ring in the fire. Robert paid Tracy a visit and viewers learned that she, not Robert, had had the affair. Tracy sent him on his way.

She jumped into Dev Alahan's bed within hours, not knowing that Dev and Deirdre had slept together the year before but when she found out, she lorded it over her mother for weeks and spitefully told her father on the day he was having a legal hearing for assaulting Aidan Critchley. She was ejected from the house and moved in with Dev who spoiled her rotten. She tried working in the pub as a barmaid but wasn't very good at it and got herself hired on in a flower shop for Lucy Richards. Then she discovered that Lucy was Peter's bit on the side and relished the ammunition over Peter.

Lucy even asked Tracy to be a bridesmaid at her wedding to Tracy's step-brother Peter which gave Tracy even more leverage but when Lucy found out that Tracy knew that Peter hadn't broke off with Shelley she got sacked. Using her leverage, Tracy talked her way into a job at Peter's bookies. Tracy thought that the rich Dev was going to marry her but when she found out he had no intention, she cut up all his clothes and tried to use the credit card he gave her to stay in a posh hotel. That didn't last long. Dev cancelled the card and Tracy found herself back in Number 1, rejected.

Tracy and Steve

Conception and Deception

Not one to sit on her laurels, Tracy had a one night stand with Steve McDonald in June of 2003 while he and Karen were broken up and also played on the affections of one of her grandmother Blanche's admirers thinking he was rich and she could get herself a "sugar daddy".

She was also a bridesmaid at Peter and Shelley's wedding. Tracy began the worst of her tricks just before the wedding when she bet Shelley's mother, Bev that she could get gentle Roy Cropper into bed. She stole a date-rape drug from a punter who tried to slip it to Shelley on her hen night and drugged Roy at Peter's wedding. Hayley had been out of town nursing a sick relative. Tracy got Roy back to her bedroom and pretended to Roy that they had had sex. Roy nearly had a nervous breakdown thinking that he had betrayed his beloved Hayley.

A few weeks later Tracy discovered she was pregnant and told Roy he was the father. Roy and Hayley, after a brief separation, decided to try to adopt the baby and paid Tracy not to have an abortion. Tracy took their money and went on a holiday, but agreed in principle to give her baby to Roy and Hayley. Roy insisted that Tracy marry him (in name only) to make sure he had a legal right to the baby. If Tracy wanted the money, she had no option and married him in a secret registry office ceremony, witnessed only by Ciaran, Peter's best friend. It turns out though, that Steve is the baby's father, a fact that Tracy finally revealed to him at Christmas, 2003. She began working for Streetcars as a driver and her affections for Steve are growing, but knew that he loved Karen.

War with Karen

Steve was frequently torn between his wife and his daughter. Karen insisted he stay away from Amy, but he visited her in secret. When Karen learned of this, she attacked Tracy at Amy's christening. Further conflict involved a car Steve and the Barlows had won on a game show, 'Top of the Tree.' Karen insisted she was the reason they'd won the car, and she and Tracy would go as far as to take the wheels off the car if it was in the other person's possession.

Tracy taunted "barren Karen" when Karen's initial efforts to conceive a child with Steve were unsuccessful. By December 2004, Karen was pregnant, but soon miscarried. She snapped and torched the car. Tracy was devastated, as she and Steve believed Amy had been in the back of the car. She tore back to the Street with her taxi, lightly hitting Karen with her car and finally chasing her inside Underworld with a large tree branch. Only Steve's insistence that Amy was fine, staying with Roy and Hayley, caused Tracy to back down.

Steve shut Karen out of his life, and a triumphant Tracy watched Karen walk out of the Street on Boxing Day 2004.

War with Steve

Steve attempted a reunion with Tracy, but she quickly realised this was for Amy's sake, not hers. They fell into a bitter custody battle, with Tracy making it look like Steve tried to leave the country with Amy, and finally even accusing him of abusing Amy. While Tracy won primary custody, the judge did not believe her accusations and allowed Steve visits with his daughter.

Restaurant, dating

After the smoke cleared, Tracy moved on with Peter's friend Ciaran, even briefly running a restaurant with him. She later dated Nathan Harding, but he dumped her after she made questionable comments about his friend Ashley Peacock, whom he'd recently put in the hospital after a boxing match.

Charlie Stubbs

In early 2006, Tracy began dating local builder Charlie Stubbs. Charlie enjoyed manipulation and cruelty as much as Tracy and had left deep scars in previous loves such as Shelley Unwin. Deirdre desperately tried to get Tracy to stay away from Charlie, but Tracy found him attractive and believed she could tame him.

Amy and abortion

After a quick courtship, Charlie agreed to let Tracy live with him, but insisted she keep Amy at her parents' house. Tracy reluctantly agreed. After a few weeks, she announced her pregnancy. Charlie gave her the money for an abortion. Tracy spent the money on expensive shoes, as she was only feigning pregnancy so she could guilt Charlie into allowing Amy to move in with them, which he did.

Deirdre's guilt over Tracy having an abortion led Tracy to tell her the truth. Deirdre forced her to tell Charlie. Charlie took one of her beloved new shoes, and warned her of what would happen if she lied to him again.

Shelley

Charlie had dated Shelley Unwin for over a year, during which time he undermined her psychologically to the point where she was afraid to leave her own bedroom. Shelley tried to warn Tracy about Charlie, but Tracy wasn't interested. Charlie still resented his loss of control over Shelley, and when he learned she was about to leave the Street, he seduced her one last time, just to know he could. The next day, Shelley told Tracy, who initially believed her, then after a word with Charlie, turned against her, humiliating her at her goodbye party in the Rovers.

This was the last Tracy thought of Shelley for several months, until Shelley returned for her mother Bev's wedding. Bev learned Shelley was pregnant by Charlie, and blurted the news out to Deirdre. Deirdre felt she had no choice but to tell Tracy, who was furious. Tracy and Charlie demanded Shelley have an abortion, but she refused. Tracy forgave Charlie, but told him if he ever betrayed her again, she'd make him pay.

Maria

Charlie and Tracy moved into a house Charlie had taken from Keith Appleyard. Charlie let his old flat to Maria Sutherland, and over a period of months, befriended her, flirted with her, and even staged a break-in to increase her dependence on him. They began an affair. In November 2006, Tracy learned of this latest fling, and briefly left Charlie. She reconciled with him, but secretly planned revenge.

Murder of Charlie

Faking domestic violence

Tracy spent weeks staging arguments, locking herself in the house, and even burning herself with an iron, all to convince neighbour Claire Peacock that Charlie was abusing her. Ken and Deirdre were also concerned for Tracy's well-being, but she would not leave Charlie.

In January 2007, Ken and Deirdre asked Peter to stay with Tracy. Charlie's best mate Jason Grimshaw saw Peter with his arm around Tracy but didn't see his face. When Charlie badgered Tracy about her mystery man, she let him believe the man was her secret lover. Charlie attacked the man, not knowing he was Peter, and gave him a severe beating. Charlie was arrested for GBH, and suddenly Tracy's claims of abuse gained traction.

Killing blow

Charlie pled guilty, and returned home, packing a bag for Tracy. Tracy had told him of her plan to murder him, and would not leave. She gave him a lap dance and began to tell him they would be together forever. While he was distracted, she hit him over the head with a heavy metal sculpture. She taunted him and then hit him again, with the killing blow. As a crowd began to gather outside Tracy ransacked the house and put a knife in Charlie's hand.

Murder trial

Tracy was charged with murder, and planned to call as witnesses Claire, Deirdre, and David Platt, who told her he'd seen what she'd done, and would tell the truth unless she had sex with him. Tracy agreed, but strung him along during the trial.

Deirdre told Tracy she had questions about Tracy's innocence, but would lie for her in court. Tracy then confessed her entire plan to a horrified Deidre.

During the trial, the prosecutor managed to discredit Claire due to her mental illness, and tore David apart. Deidre had a panic attack during her testimony. Tracy was furious with Deirdre for letting her down.

With Tracy's defense in shambles, she was found guilty, sentenced to life in prison, with a possibility of parole after 15 years. Tracy shouted that she was innocent and had only tried to protect herself and her daughter.

Life in prison

In Kate Ford's final appearance on the show, Ken and Deirdre paid Tracy a visit at Redford Prison. She tried to guilt Deidre into paying for her appeal, but they told Tracy that her legal fees had already sapped them dry.

Tracy returned to her cell, looking at a photo of Amy. Her cellmate said Amy resembled her. Tracy, near tears, said, "I hope not...God, I hope not."

Tracy has since been mentioned through frequent visits from Deirdre.

Tracy chose not to allow Amy to visit her, since she didn't want Amy to know what had happened to her. Amy was told that Tracy was staying somewhere in a hotel. In April 2009, Tracy changed her mind, and Becky Granger convinced a reluctant Steve to take Amy to the prison. Tracy and Steve came up with an excuse for Tracy's whereabouts, but the next day, a schoolmate told Amy her mother was a murderer. Amy was very upset, but Becky felt she had to tell Amy the truth. When Steve told Tracy that Amy now knew the truth, Tracy swore she'd kill him one day.

Tracy gets revenge on Charlie Stubbs

This article uses material from the "Tracy Barlow" article on the Coronation Street wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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