Dawn Acton, who played Coronation Street’s naughty Tracy Barlow from 1977 to 1999, now leads a very different life

Dawn Acton was best known for playing Tracy Barlow in Coronation Street, but 23 years after she left the cobbles she is unrecognisable.

Deirdre’s daughter has been played by four different actresses since 1977, but Dawn Acton may have been the most memorable.

Dawn, who is now 44, stepped onto the cobbles when she was just 11 years old and worked on some nail-biting storylines.

Her character nearly died from an ecstasy overdose an ended up being donated a kidney from Deirdre’s husband Samir.

But after falling head over heels with Robert Preston, Dawn’s Tracy got hitched and moved to London in 1999.

Dawn Acton first joined the iconic soap when she was just 11 years old


Granada Television)

But Tracy returned to Weatherfield in 2003 and Dawn re-auditioned for the role but was pipped to the post by Kate Ford.

Instead, she went on to pursue a very different career as a DJ and also volunteers at children’s charity Beanstalk.

Dawn’s character Tracy had a turbulent childhood



The mum of one said: “Obviously I do miss working in Corrie but I do find the work I do now very rewarding. The fact is I believe everyone should have the chance to learn to read.

“I still do DJ-ing but I like volunteering for Beanstalk as I supported children to read about things they were interested in and for them to be able to get enjoyment from it.”

Dawn beside Julian Kay, who played her on-screen husband Robert Preston


Granada TV)

Dawn now works as a DJ and volunteers for a children’s charity

She added: “When my son was young and I wasn’t working as much through the day I had some time on my hands and I love reading and it’s all about trying to help children understand that reading isn’t necessarily a chore.”

In 2013 Dawn shaved her head for charity after mum passed away.

One of the features of Dawn’s time on the show was the bitter relationship she had with her on-screen mum Deirdre

She said: “She was always so great with kids and she just had a really funny sense of humour, we got on immediately and had lots of fun together.

“She did see me grow up and she was always really supportive.”

Dawn with her on screen parents William Roache, and Anne Kirkbride


Granada Television)

Tracy’s role was played by Christabel Finch when she was a baby and Holly Chamarette for the toddler years.

Tracy’s affair with Steve McDonald was one of the most popular storylines of the soap and begun during Dawn’s time on the show.

From a teen, Tracy had a huge crush on Steve but unfortunately for her the feeling was not mutual.

Tracy cheated on Rob in 2002, she then embarked on her affair with Steve McDonald, played by recent I’m A Celebrity campmate Simon Gregson.

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