Where are Coronation Street's missing Connors now?

Daniel Kilkelly, Claire Crick
·8-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images/WireImage / ITV / Digitalspy.com
Photo credit: Getty Images/WireImage / ITV / Digitalspy.com

From Digital Spy

The Connor clan have been at the centre of life on the Coronation Street cobbles since they first arrived back in 2006, with original member Michelle, played by Kym Marsh, making her mark after landing a job as a barmaid at The Rovers. Michelle was quickly followed by son Ryan and brothers Paul and Liam… and the rest, as they say, is history.

The family has certainly crammed plenty into the last 13 years – from murder, suicide and tragic baby heartache, there's barely a storyline that the Connors haven't been faced with.

A fiercely loyal family that love fighting like cat and dog, we couldn't imagine life in Weatherfield without them. But what has happened to the members of the Connor family who are no longer in the show? Well, we've done some digging…

1. Sean Gallagher (Paul Connor 2006 - 2007)

Paul was one of the original Connor family members, appearing on the cobbles alongside sister Michelle and younger brother Liam. He was married to Carla Connor and is the one who was driving on the night that Michelle's late partner Dean was killed in a car accident.

After less than a year on the soap, Sean decided to leave Coronation Street to try his hand at other acting roles. Sean went on to appear in BBC One drama Our Girl, playing the father of Lacey Turner's lead character Molly.

He also appeared as lead role Mal Faith in ITV drama Rock Rivals – starring alongside fellow soap star Michelle Collins, who played his on-screen wife Karina.

More recently, Sean has worked on Father Brown, Midsomer Murders and Silent Witness.

2. Rob James-Collier (Liam Connor 2006 - 2008)

While Liam Connor will always be remembered for his rocky romance with Maria and his steamy affair with Carla, he is also the father of Maria's son Liam Jr. But sadly, Liam died in a hit-and-run organised by Tony Gordon before he even knew Maria was pregnant.

Since leaving Coronation Street, Rob's acting career has gone from strength to strength and he is probably best known for his role as butler Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey, which he played from 2010 until the TV series finished in 2015. More recently, he has reprised the role for the 2019 Downton Abbey film.

Rob has also appeared in numerous films including A Christmas Star, The Ritual and Spike Island, and TV shows such as Death in Paradise, Vera and Moving On.

He has also starred as deputy head teacher Martin Evershed in Channel 4 drama Ackley Bridge.

3. Shayne Ward (Aidan Connor 2015 - 2018)

Aidan Connor's tragic death in 2018 is still fresh in the minds of soap fans. Since leaving the soap, Shayne has not only received huge praise for his role in raising awareness for male suicide thanks to his exit storyline, but he was also busy getting into shape for his role as a soldier in horror film The Ascent.

Shayne starred alongside his fiancée and former Hollyoaks star Sophie Austin, who has also landed a role in the independent film about a special ops squad sent into a civil war.

Dad-of-one Shayne can also be found sharing the joys of parenting on social media.

4. Dearbhla Molloy (Helen Connor 2009 - 2015)

Photo credit: Walter McBride - Getty Images
Photo credit: Walter McBride - Getty Images

While we haven't seen Helen in Weatherfield since Michelle's wedding to Steve McDonald in 2015, we have got to know the mother of Michelle, Liam and Paul over the years as she has made various visits to the cobbles for major events in her children's lives.

Dearbhla Molloy is the second actress to take on the role of Helen Connor after the original actress, Sorcha Cusack, wasn't available to reprise the role after she first appeared in 2008.

Dearbhla is a renowned Irish actress, who has had a hugely successful career on both stage and screen prior to joining the Coronation Street cast. Since we last saw her, she has been appearing in the stage production of The Ferryman both in London's West End and over on Broadway.

She was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part in the production, and has spoken about how much she adored working with director Sam Mendes.

5. Sorcha Cusack (Helen Connor 2008)

Photo credit: Dave M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave M. Benett - Getty Images

Sorcha was the original actress to play Helen Connor when she first appeared in the soap more than 10 years ago.

Before briefly joining the cast of Coronation Street, Sorcha was renowned for her roles in the 1973 BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre, and playing the mother of Brad Pitt's character Mickey in the film Snatch.

Since her time on the cobbles, the actress has appeared in Mrs Brown's Boys, Father Brown and BBC series River.

6. Frank Grimes (Barry Connor 2008 - 2009, 2013 and 2015)

Barry arrived in Coronation Street in 2008 with his wife Helen to attend his son Liam's wedding to Maria. But sadly, his visits to the cobbles haven't always been for such happy occasions. He returned following the news of Liam's death, and then again in 2009 to meet their new grandson, who Maria had named Liam after his late father.

Since his time on the cobbles, Frank has also worked as a writer and voiceover artist, as well as flexing his acting muscles in shows like Mrs Brown's Boys, Father Brown, Casualty and Doctors.

7. Ben Thompson (Ryan Connor 2006 - 2010)

Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert  - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images

Ben was the original actor to play the role of Ryan Connor and was part of the cast from 2006 until 2010. Ben was playing the role when Michelle Connor found out the shattering news that Ryan wasn't her biological son after her baby had been accidentally swapped at birth.

Since his time on Coronation Street, Ben has starred in Treasure Island and The Girls Who Came To Stay, and also provided the voice for a character in Fungus the Bogeyman.

More recently, Ben has swapped acting for music and is part of an indie band called Rusholme Ruffians, which he launched with some friends from school. The band have toured the country playing their own songs, as well as covering songs by bands like The Smiths, Oasis and The Stone Roses.

8. Sol Heras (Ryan Connor 2012 - 2013)

Photo credit: Gareth J Davies - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gareth J Davies - Getty Images

Sol was the second actor to play the role of Michelle's adopted son Ryan. He took over from Ben Thompson when the role was recast in 2012, but departed the cobbles after just one year when his contract came to an end.

During Sol's time in the role, Ryan dated Katy Armstrong, caused Sophie Webster to fear she'd never walk again after a game of chicken went seriously wrong, and had a fling with Tracy Barlow.

Since his departure in 2013, Sol has played the lead role in 2014 film Viking - The Berserkers, appeared in a short film called The Service, and in 2016 landed a role in Late Shift.

9. Marc Baylis (Rob Donovan 2012 - 2017)

Photo credit: Mike Marsland  - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images

While he might not officially be a Connor, Carla Connor's brother Rob is as close as it gets. Over the years, Carla's estranged sibling has caused havoc on the cobbles and is currently serving time in jail for the murder of Tina McIntyre.

Most recently, he returned to Weatherfield in 2017 when he escaped from prison while being transferred from one prison to another, only for former flame Tracy Barlow to hide him away from the police.

These days, Marc has been appearing in films like Arcadia and zombie thriller Redcon-1. He's also provided voices for video games like Battlefield V and Risen 2: Dark Waters.

10. Faye Brookes (Kate Connor 2015 - 2019)

Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images

Kate Connor developed a big online fanbase during her four years on the cobbles. Her relationship with Rana, dubbed 'Kana' by shippers, received much praise before coming to a heartbreaking conclusion when Rana was tragically killed off in 2019. Kate left the cobbles for a fresh start a few months later.

Faye Brookes will be returning to our screens in 2021 when she competes on ITV's skating reality show Dancing on Ice.

11. Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor 2016 - 2019)

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Corrie fans were shocked in 2019 when Kym Marsh announced that she'd be leaving her role as Michelle Connor. Her final scenes aired at the end of the year, but Kym insisted that she'd be up for returning in the future.

Since bowing out, Kym has starred in The Loss Adjuster and now presents BBC One's daytime show Morning Live.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.

Read more news, spoilers and gossip on our Coronation Street homepage

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