She died tragically young in a car accident back in 2001.
Susan’s life was full of drama from the death of her mum, Valerie, to being shipped off to Scotland by her struggling dad, Ken, and her secret son.
So what’s Susan’s story?
Susan and Peter were born in 1965, and spent their early years in Weatherfield. But when they were just six, their mother Valerie (who was played by telly legend Anne Reid) died when she was electrocuted by a faulty hairdryer.
Ken struggled to cope as a single dad, so he sent the twins off to Scotland to live with Valerie’s parents in Glasgow.
Susan went back and forth between Weatherfield and Glasgow during her teenage years until 1985, when she came back to Coronation Street.
And it was then that things got very dramatic!
Susan and Mike Baldwin
On her return to Corrie, Susan began an affair with her dad’s sworn enemy – and much older man – Mike Baldwin.
The pair tied the knot but Ken was so horrified that at first he refused to go to the wedding.
But the marriage didn’t last.
Susan was ambitious and Mike didn’t like her career goals.
When Susan found out she was pregnant, Mike wanted her to leave work and settle down. But Susan wasn’t ready to do as he asked. Instead, she had an abortion and left Weatherfield after Mike accused her of being a murderer!
Actor Johnny Briggs, who played Mike, wasn’t happy about the storyline and was said to be pleased when the couple split.
What happened to Susan?
In 2000, Peter Barlow was arguing with his dad and accidentally let slip that Susan had a son called Adam.
It turned out she hadn’t had a termination and had instead kept Mike’s baby. However, she didn’t want him to know about his son.
Ken visited Susan in Scotland and she begged him not to let Mike know the truth. Ken agreed but his wife Deirdre let slip to Dev Alahan, who told Mike.
When Susan visited Coronation Street, he demanded access to Adam.
Susan refused and took Adam away from Weatherfield but on their trip north in February 2001, she crashed her car and was killed. Luckily, little Adam wasn’t badly hurt and Mike got custody of his son.
How did Billy kill Susan?
In 2017, vicar Billy Mayhew was forced to face up to his criminal past when he had a fight with Peter Barlow.
Billy had been involved in a hit and run car accident after a robbery alongside another man.
Billy wasn’t driving, but it was him who’d encouraged his mate to leave the scene. The accident had resulted in a death, leaving Billy distraught.
He was even more shocked when he found out that the woman who’d died was Susan Barlow.
Guilt-ridden Billy went to court to face charges of punching Peter.
On the way he was stabbed in the leg by a metal not-so-lucky four leaved clover he was carrying in his pocket. He thought he was dying and confessed to Peter that he was responsible for his sister’s death.
Peter – not surprisingly – didn’t react well.
He kidnapped Billy and threw him off a cliff. Billy survived his ordeal and Ken convinced him not to dob Peter in.
Adam, meanwhile, didn’t want to let it go.
He took an overdose, but survived and then he vowed to make Billy pay.
Adam managed to get Billy hooked on painkillers after his cliff accident. Billy became reliant on Adam to get them for him. The vicar then spiralled into heroin addiction.
In a twist it was actually Peter who helped Billy admit his addiction, and Adam then helped him get clean.
Who played Susan?
Susan was played by four different actresses in her short life, firstly by Katie Heannau as a baby and toddler, then by Wendy Jane Walker. She played Susan twice – as a child in the 1970s and returned to play the affair with Mike in 1985.
Now Wendy is a tour operator and no longer acts.
In between Wendy Jane Walker’s stints on the show, Suzy Paterson took on the role.
And finally, in 2001, actress Joanna Foster stepped into Susan’s shoes for one month. She’d been acting for several years by then and had roles in Casualty, The Bill, and Blind Justice under her belt.
After Susan’s death, Joanna stayed in soaps and played Ginny Davenport in Family Affairs for two years. Since then, she’s continued to act and also sings and composes music.
Joanna’s sister is the actress Miranda Foster.
Coronation Street usually airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV.
Classic Coronation Street is on ITV3 every week day at 3pm and 3.30pm.
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