18 April 1936
Dulwich, London, England
Kenneth "Ken" Farrington (born 18 April 1936) is an English actor.
Career to 2000
He first came to notice nationally playing the role of Billy Walker, wayward son of publican Annie, in ITV's long-running soap opera, Coronation Street. He joined the series in 1961, playing the role on and off until leaving the series for good in 1984.
During the 1960s Farrington played a number of supporting roles in drama series, including The Saint, playing long-suffering Chief Inspector Teal's right-hand man. He also appeared in films such as Submarine X-1 and Party Party. Farrington worked with the Manchester Drama Group, with whom cast members of Coronation Street often performed in the 1970s. In 1974, he directed Anne Kirkbride in a lunchtime production of David Halliwell's Muck from Three Angles at the Grapes Hotel in Quay Street. Kirkbride's Deirdre character in the soap was a love interest of Billy Walker around this time.
Beginning in 1997 he played the key continuing role of Jack Gates, father of Hart family matriarch Annie Hart, in soap opera Family Affairs. His character was killed-off in late 1998 (several weeks prior to the entire Hart family being killed-off) as part of a drastic revamp of that series.
In 2004 he took the ongoing role of Tom King in ITV soap opera Emmerdale. On 8 August 2006, ITV announced that Ken Farrington had decided to leave Emmerdale after three years. He said, "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Emmerdale but feel it is time to move on". Speaking about his decision to quit the show, Farrington said: "I originally came to 'Emmerdale' for just six months and I have ended up staying for three years. Even during my 25 years at 'Coronation Street', two years at a time was my longest stint". "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at 'Emmerdale' but feel it is time to move on," he said.
Emmerdale series producer Kathleen Beedles said: "Ken has been an asset to the show and will be greatly missed but his exit storyline is going to be extremely dramatic and memorable for viewers, which we're very excited about."
Farrington was written out in dramatic fashion in an episode which aired on Christmas Day, 2006 which saw his character being pushed to his death from a bedroom window.
- One Way Pendulum (1965) - Stan
- The Knack ...and How to Get It (1965) - Guardsman (uncredited)
- Robbery (1967) - Seventh Robber
- Submarine X-1 (1969) - C.P.O. Boker Knowles
- Party Party (1983) - Dad
- Simon Farquhar "Anne Kirkbride: 'Coronation Street' stalwart across five decades entrusted with some of its most dramatic storylines", The Inedependent, 20 January 2015