The character went into a business partnership with Gail Tilsey (Helen Worth), formed a close friendship with Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls), and had several romantic relationships most notably with Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs).
Despite a tempestuous on-off relationship with Mike Baldwin which became a marriage from 1992 until 1999, Alma never had a family but was often the motherly, sympathetic, liberal-minded character in many storylines, particularly off-setting her husband's often harsh and high-minded attitudes.
Alma's most dramatic storylines included her relationships with Mike, Mike's nemesis Ken Barlow, Stephen Reid (son of Audrey Roberts and half brother of Gail), and Don Brennan. Although never a romantic relationship, Alma felt sympathy for Don after Mike sold him a garage business at a knowingly inflated price to then sit back and watched him go bankrupt. Don eventually had a breakdown, becoming obsessed with revenge on Mike. After attempting to frame Mike for arson and insurance fraud, he kidnapped Alma, driving her into the river in his taxi. His last act was to steal Alma's car and drive into the viaduct at the end of Coronation Street, killing himself.
In 2001, Alma was also involved in the Freshco supermarket siege, coincidentally along with Mike and Ken amongst others, in which a gunman was shot dead by the police. Alma was also responsible for bringing together the lonely hearts, Roy Cropper and (transsexual) Hayley Patterson, who continue to run the relocated and renamed café business into 2007.
In May 2001, Alma discovered that due to a missed smear test and a further misdiagnosis, she was stricken with inoperable cervical cancer. The illness claimed her life within weeks; she died at Audrey's home in Grasmere Drive on 17 June 2001, aged 56.
Living: STREET FIGHT!; Why TV Soap Cervical Cancer Storyline Has Caused Such a Storm of Protest Coronation Street's Alma Halliwell Is to Be Killed off When She Discovers She Has Cervical Cancer - but Actress Amanda Barrie Has Hit out at the Storyline, Saying It's Unrealistic and Could Scare Women off from Having Tests. Lifestyle Editor CLARE McVEY Looks at the Facts
Apr 22, 2001; Byline: CLARE McVEY IT'S every woman's worst nightmare. You miss your regular smear test meant to pick up on the early signs of...