Coronation Street Susan and Adam Barlow

Susan Barlow’s dramatic life and legacy in Coronation Street

What's actress Joanna Foster doing now?

Susan Barlow in Coronation Street was Adam Barlow’s mum. She was Ken’s daughter and the twin sister of Peter.

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.

But she lives on in Corrie with her namesake, SusieEva Price‘s little girl, who was named by Peter Barlow when he thought he was her dad.

So what’s Susan’s story?

Susan Barlow smiles
Susan Barlow broke dad Ken’s heart when she married his enemy Mike Baldwin (Credit: YouTube/ITV)

Read more: Coronation Street fan theory on Wendy Crozier’s return

Susan’s childhood

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!

Ken Barlow with his young twins Peter and Susan
Ken struggled to cope as a single dad to Peter (here played by his real life son Linus Roache) and Susan (played by Wendy Jane Walker) Credit: ITV/Shutterstock

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.

Susan and Mike get married in Coronation Street
Susan and Mike tied the knot (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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.

Peter and Susan Barlow look worried as they sit side by side in Coronation Street
Susan (now played by Joanna Foster) was determined not to give Mike access to her son (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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.

Corrie Billy looks scared and ill as Adam talks to him in the interview room
Billy was helped by Adam in the end (Credit: ITV)

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.

Mike and Susan Baldwin get smoochy in Coronation Street
Wendy Jane Walker played Susan twice (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

Read more: Complete Coronation Street cast list 2022 – meet them all here!

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.

YouTube video player

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.

Do you remember Susan Barlow in Corrie? Let us know on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer