Emmerdale Tom King star Kenneth Farrington now – soap villain to life beyond TV

The glitz and glamour of soap operas have always captivated audiences, and one name that remains etched in the memories of fans is Kenneth Farrington.

The man who brought the iconic villainous millionaire Tom King to life in the hit series Emmerdale has had a journey that spans decades, full of twists, turns, and intriguing tales both on and off-screen.

Farrington, 87, who hails from Peckham, London, had a humble beginning as he set out on a path that would lead him to become one of the most recognised faces on British television.

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After receiving formal training as an actor, Farrington's first steps in the limelight were marked by a series of roles in the early 1960s.

It was during this time that he caught the attention of soap opera producers, and his journey into the world of soaps began.

His first major role was playing Billy Walker, the surly son of Annie Walker, in the popular ITV series Coronation Street.

Farrington's portrayal of Billy Walker earned him recognition and fame, and his presence on the show spanned multiple decades, from 1961 to 1984.

However, his time on Coronation Street wasn't without its share of controversies and abrupt exits.

The talented actor's recurring appearances in the role often kept fans guessing about Billy's fate on-screen.

But it wasn't just Coronation Street that Kenneth Farrington left his mark on.

He later took on the role of the randy grandfather Jack Gates in Channel 5's Family Affairs, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

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But his portrayal of Tom King in Emmerdale really catapulted the star to soap opera royalty. As the patriarch of the notorious King Family, Farrington's character was a cunning schemer who wove intricate webs of deception.

The role showcased his remarkable acting skills and ability to captivate audiences.

While Tom King's time on Emmerdale came to a dramatic end in 2006, Farrington's influence on the show was undeniable.

His character's demise, marked by a shocking fall through a window, ignited a frenzy reminiscent of iconic "whodunnit" mysteries in television history.

In recent years, the actor has embraced a quieter life away from the spotlight.

Farrington's character Billy Walker continues to be fondly remembered by fans who yearn for a return that, given his age and the character's history, appears unlikely.

Farrington's own autobiography, titled, Hush My Mouth, published in 2018, offers readers a glimpse into his personal and professional journey, a testament to a life well-lived and a career filled with memorable roles.

He was married to actress Patricia Heneghan from 1961 to 1981; they have two children.

As we anticipate the return of Tom King Jr to the Emmerdale scene, fans are sending one final nod to the actor, from scheming villains to captivating heroes, Farrington's versatile talents have left an indomitable mark on the realm of soap operas for many years to come.

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