VIOLET CARSON Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » violet carson


Name: Violet Carson OBE                                                               
Born: 1 September 1898 Ancoats, Manchester, England                                   
Died: 26 December 1983                                                                 
Violet Carson (1 September 1898 - 26 December 1983) was a British actress.             
Her mother was an amateur singer and she was born in Ancoats, Manchester. As a         
child she performed with her sister as a singing act called the Carson Sisters.       
She then became a cinema pianist providing the musical accompanyment for silent       
films. She married in Manchester Cathedral, but her husband George died at the         
age of 28 and she never re-married.                                                   
Violet Carson, in an interview with a reporter from the Australian Broadcasting       
Corporation, 1966.                                                                     
Before her transfer to television Violet Carson was a regular hostess on               
Children's Hour on the BBC Home Service where she was known as Auntie Vi. She         
introduced items and sang. She was pianist for the Wilfred Pickles radio show         
Have A Go from the 1940s. However, she was best known for her role as the gruff       
moral voice of Coronation Street, Ena Sharples, a role she played from 1960 to         
1980. For much of her 20 years on the programme, Ena's moralising caused her to       
spar regularly with Elsie Tanner, played by Pat Phoenix. Long after her               
departure from the programme, Carson continued to be synonymous with the hairnet       
that Ena chose to wear for almost every occasion. However, she had previously         
enjoyed a long career in entertainment, particularly noted as a singer and a           
pianist. As a singer, Carson was in the soprano range and was a regular fixture       
on the Christian hymnal programme Songs of Praise in the 1960s and 1970s.             
She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1965. The               
character of Ena was a very demanding job. Ironically, the irascible Ena was           
almost the exact opposite of Carson's real personality.                               
In the 1970s, Carson suffered a series of strokes and other ailments, and played       
Ena only sporadically throughout the decade. In April 1980, a storyline involved       
Ena moving to Lytham St. Anne's, Blackpool to stay with a friend while her flat       
at the street's community centre was being renovated. When the character               
returned, the flat was not ready and Ena announced on screen (to characters Ken       
Barlow and Albert Tatlock) that she would return to her flat but only if she           
felt like doing so; it was at this point that Carson became ill with pernicious       
anaemia and was forced to leave the programme. All storylines involving the           
return of Ena Sharples had to be scrapped because of Miss Carson's illness,           
although Ena was still considered a regular member of the cast. She lived in a         
bungalow in the Bispham, Blackpool with her sister Nellie and refused to make         
any public appearances after her retirement.                                           
Violet Carson died, aged 85, on Boxing Day 1983. She is buried at Bispham Parish       
Church in Blackpool.