Coronation Street star Richard Hawley has had quite the successful career.

The 66-year-old actor has portrayed Johnny Connor on the ITV soap since 2015 with speculation that his time in Weatherfield may soon come to a tragic end.

The character has had a rough few years in general, being imprisoned for his role in the beating of a security officer during a historic robbery and being diagnosed with Charles Bonnet syndrome during his time inside.

Before his diagnosis, Johnny struggled with hallucinations of his late son Aidan.

But, who is Richard Hawley? And, what does his life look like away from the cobbles?

Other soaps

Richard was born in Bradford and quickly established acting success.

Following his breakout TV acting role in 1988, the actor joined hit crime drama series Prime Suspect in 1991 as DC Richard Hoskons.

He later appeared in The Vet and Channel 5's Family Affairs from 1999 – 2005.

Before landing his Corrie role, Richard also tried his hand at a number of its rival soap operas.

Richard has appeared in minor roles in soaps including Holby City, The Bill, Casualty and Doctors.

In 2003, he made a splash on the big screen.

Dad's battle with Alzheimer's

Richard's dad sadly battled Alzheimer's for 10 years – and in the early stages of the disease, Richard recalled seeing his dad paint pictures with multiple black squares in them.

Speaking at a Memory Walk for the Alzheimer's Society, at the time he said: "When Alzheimer's started to show, he began to include lots of black squares in his paintings. At the time we didn't know why, but later we wondered if that was a sign of the disease."

He added: "There are so many feelings of loss when you lose a parent, but on this walk it became very personal between me and him, and he felt very present to me."

Richard's dad died in 2004 at the age of 82.

Family life

While he is based in Manchester for a chunk of the week due to work commitments, the actor returns home every weekend to Brighton where he lives with his wife of more than 30 years.

His wife, Helen, is mum to his grown-up twin daughters.

The star said that lockdown was a "humbling" experience for them all and made them realise how much they need one another.

Home with co-star

Aside from his home in Brighton, like many other actors, Richard has a place where he works in Manchester too – and he previously shared it with co-star Connor McIntyre, who plays Pat Phelan.

He said on Lorraine in 2017: "It's the odd couple. We stay together five days a week we share a flat together in Manchester.

"It's been a very enriching time actually, it's quite funny, because we lounge around in our pajamas, each one of us play the other characters in the show (when practising our lines)… I've got my northern wife in Phelan!"

However, Phelan eventually left the soap, and Richard shared his hopes to get a place with his wife in Manchester.

Love Actually

In addition to his TV success, Richard has also had the privilege of starring in one of the most renowned Christmas movies of all time.

He appeared alongside Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Martine McCutcheon, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Joanna Page, Martin Freeman, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney and Liam Neeson in the iconic Richard Curtis film.

The 5"7 actor portrayed deputy prime minister Alex in the film, who appeared in numerous scenes alongside Hugh's Prime Minister.

What's next?

With Richard's Coronation Street future unclear, the actor has previously stated that him leaving the soap is possible.

He also noted that he would be sad to exit, whenever he left.

On his character's relationship with Jenny, portrayed by Sally Ann Matthews, Richard previously told Metro: ‘As an actor, I would really miss working with Sally Ann.

"As a story I don’t think it’s ever over, even if they split up. It will be on a continual rubber band, coming together and pulling apart. Maybe it’ll snap."

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