Jennifer Moss



Real name: Jennifer Moss
Born: 10 January 1945, Wigan, Lancashire
Parents: Reg and Dora



Played: Lucille Hewitt (1961 - 1974)

Jennifer Moss became famous for playing Coronation Street's original teenage rebel Lucille Hewitt nearly 40 years ago. Then, after 13 years in Britain's best-loved soap, she became famous for being an alcoholic and was forced to leave the Street in 1973.

As orphan Lucille Hewitt, who was introduced in the soap's third episode, Jennifer quickly became a star and enjoyed a glamorous lifestyle - a stark contrast to her very strict upbringing. However, as she grew up in front of the camera, the luxurious lifestyle took over and soon spiralled out of control in a tide of booze.

Jennifer was born in Wigan, the daughter of mill director Reg and his drama teacher wife Dora. She was educated at Wigan High School for Girls and had the desire to become a lawyer although her mother wanted her to become an actress. At the age of 12 Jennifer began working on BBC radio in Children's Hour, alongside actor Tony Warren, who went on to create and write Coronation Street.

Jenny also appeared in June Evening and in Magnolia Street for the BBC TV. At the age of 16 she joined Coronation Street in episode three as wildchild Lucille Hewitt, a role she played until she was fired in 1974 after 14 years in the series and over 1000 episodes. In 1963 she took a break from the series during the Actors Equity strike and acted and sang in the musical Live It Up alongside David Hemmings, Veronica Hurst, John Pike and Joan Newell.

When Jennifer's father died she became very insecure and began drinking heavily, this continued for several years and caused her to be dropped by Granada Television and subsequently her acting career dried up. She squandered her money on drink and expensive nights out, and began to hit the headlines. 'I'd never known any financial hard times,' she says. 'I was suddenly let loose with a load of money - I just blew it.'

She spent the next 26 years fighting her addiction through a string of failed marriages. At one stage, having hit rock bottom, she had no money left and was forced to live in a hostel, signing herself in and out for AA meetings. 'When you've had money and you go to that sort of level, there are two places you can go to, says Jennifer. 'You can either go out in a coffin or you can decide you've had enough.'

Jennifer suffered great heartache in her personal life but she gained the help of alcoholics anomoyous and has been sober since 1978. During her non acting period she worked as a taxi driver, tour guide and as a chat line hostess, but she was fired for telling callers how much the calls were costing them. In the late eighties Jennifer slipped back into acting in the Liverpool BBC radio soap The Merseysiders. She also worked as an extra on Brookside and appeared in the Bread Christmas Special. More recently she played Steve McGann's mother in Help and made guest appearances on Wire TV's Soap Show, Live TV, Sky Soaps and This Is Your Life. She also worked in the BBC detective series Hettie Wainthrop Investigates.

Jennifer has been married five times. She married her first husband Peter Hampson, a millionaires son in 1968 but they divorced the following year after Jennifer gave birth to their daughter Niomi Ruth. She then married Leeds motor dealer Adrian Glick but he was violent to her. Jennifer and Adrian had two children Sarah and Marcus. Sarah was born with brain damage and was taken into care until she was adopted at the age of five. Marcus was born weighing just 11lb 4oz and died at 3 weeks on 13 October 1975. Jennifer took Niomi and Sarah with her when she disappeared in the middle of the night in order to avoid another violent incident.

At the age of 12 Niomi was taken into care for five years but was later reconciled with her mother. Her 3rd marriage was to John Neill, who was 10 years her junior and an alcoholic. There marriage was dissolved when he was imprisoned for breaking into a night club and taking booze. She then married Liberal worker Paul Howard, 18 years younger than her but there marriage was dissolved quickly. In 1983 Jennifer was cleared of theft charges and also suffered cervical cancer. In 1989 she met her 5th husband, computer software expert and Cambridge graduate Stephen Ramsden at a bridge evening and they married. Jennifer, Stephen and Niomi lived in Runcorn, Lancashire until Niomi married Ken Hewitt and made Jennifer a grandmother to James and Christopher. Jennifer and Stephen are still happily married, fast approaching their 10th anniversary, and now based in Surrey. Jenny is often reunited with former and current Street stars when she attends launches and anniversary parties, something that was out of the question in the early 80's.

Having decided to fight her addiction, Jennifer has now finally achieved some sort of peace and happiness in her life. 'I wanted normality so desperately, and I think I've got it now,' she admits. From her home Jennifer and her fifth husband Stephen run an Internet stamp collecting business.

Jennifer can now see that many of her former showbiz colleagues tried to help her in the early days - Michael Parkinson caught her drinking a large brandy and admonished: 'Brandy? You want to be careful - it's an alcoholic's drink'. It wasn't judgmental, it was a warning,' she says. 'I wish I'd taken it.'








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