Coronation Street actor Neville Buswell died on Christmas Day of last year, aged 76, it has been revealed.
He rose to fame in the 1960s and ‘70s, playing Ray Langton on the popular soap opera, before more or less vanishing from the small screen.
Having long been out of the spotlight, news of Buswell’s death only emerged on Monday 27 January 2020, when an obituary was published in his adopted home of Las Vegas. A local mortuary confirmed that a funeral had taken place at the start of the year but offered no further details regarding his death.
Who did Neville Buswell play on Coronation Street?
Buswell spent over a decade on Coronation Street, between 1966 and 1978, playing local womaniser Ray Langton.
Quickly becoming a regular on the programme, his fictional persona had flings with a string of characters, including Sandra Butler, Vicki Bright, Audrey Fleming and Sue Silcock. Langton then married series regular Deirdre Barlow in 1975, and the two had a daughter together – Tracy Barlow.
However, the wedding ring didn’t put an end to his lecherous ways and, after a tryst with local waitress Janice Stubbs, the marriage finally collapsed in 1978.
While Langton pleaded with Deirdre to travel with him to Amsterdam to try for a fresh start, she rejected him and chose to remain in Weatherfield. He went anyway, abandoning his daughter.
He briefly re-appeared in the Coronation Street spin-off, Viva Las Vegas, when Vera Duckworth encountered him working behind a bar. Langton then returned once more in 2005, showing up at Deirdre’s second wedding to Ken Barlow in attempt to reconcile with his estranged daughter.
However, it was revealed that the character had been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and he died at the wedding reception, passing away in the show’s famous pub, the Rover’s Return. Tracy was able to tell him that she forgave him just before he died.
Why was he written out of Coronation Street?
Neville Buswell quit Coronation Street fairly abruptly in 1978, leaving the UK to live in Las Vegas where he would spend the rest of his life working in casinos before becoming a mortgage broker and ultimately retiring in 2008.
At the time, he said his decision was based on a desire to live closer to his wife’s family.
However, the actor was later named in a child sex probe which may also have kept him from returning to the UK.
Many years after he left Coronation Street, Buswell was accused of sexually assaulting a 12 year old girl in his dressing room in the ‘60s, and was asked to attend an interview by the Yorkshire Police. The actor refused to return to the UK, claiming to have no idea who the woman was and strongly denying the accusation.
Similar allegations were also levelled at other stars of the show, including William Roache, who played Ken Barlow. Roache was accused by five women of abusing them while they were teenagers but was later acquitted.
Coronation Street actors Andrew Lancel and Michael Le Vell were similarly accused and then cleared of child abuse charges.