Many actors have appeared in Coronation Street
who have then gone on to become more notable for other work. Actors and actresses who began or spent part of their career in Coronation Street
- Amanda Barrie, who played Alma Baldwin, one-time wife of Mike Baldwin, was an early star of the British series of Carry On films, and now appears in the prison drama Bad Girls.
- Vicky Binns played Molly Compton. She is the daughter of Diggory Compton, and girlfriend of Tyrone Dobbs.
- Chris Bisson as Vikram Desai, later the star of East Is East and a recurring star in Shameless.
- Craig Charles, star of Red Dwarf as cab-driver Lloyd.
- Ex-Boyzone star Keith Duffy played Ciaran McCarthy, a barman in the Rovers Return Inn.
- Peter Duncan, who went on to present Blue Peter and become the UK's chief scout, played Christopher Cullen in the mid-1970s.
- Roy Hudd played Audrey Roberts' close friend - and professional undertaker - Archie Shuttleworth in 2002-2003, who assisted Audrey in trying to bring down the Street's serial killer, Richard Hillman.
- Ben Kingsley, who portrayed Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's biographical film Gandhi, appeared from 1966-1967 as Ron Jenkins.
- Arthur Lowe, who starred as Captain Mainwaring in Dad's Army appeared for several years as Leonard Swindley, taking the character into the spin-off sitcom Pardon The Expression.
- Linus Roache, son of Bill Roache (Ken Barlow) who played Peter Barlow in the early 1970s and went on to star in the film Priest.
- William Russell, regular companion in Doctor Who as Rita's second husband Ted Sullivan in 1992.
- Michael Sheard who played Mr. Bronson in Grange Hill appeared as Arthur Dabner in 1989.
- Elisabeth Sladen, who went on to genre fame as Sarah-Jane Smith in Doctor Who, played Anita Reynolds in 1970.
- Debra Stephenson, star of ITV prison drama Bad Girls as Frankie Baldwin.
- Bradley Walsh, comedian, once half of a comedy duo with Joe Pasquale, who plays Danny Baldwin, Mike's "nephew" who later found out he was his son.
- Kenneth Cope, best known for playing Marty Hopkirk in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), appeared as Jed Stone, a.k.a. "Sonny Jim", Minnie Caldwell's gaolbird lodger throughout the early 1960s.
- Honor Blackman played Rula Romanoff, an ageing wife-swapper who wanted to swap with Norris and Rita, in 2004.
- Music star Cliff Richard appeared in a scene, but he had his back to the camera. The main characteristics of him in the scene, which was shot in the Rovers, were black hair, and a jumper which had the words 'Rock and Roll' across it.
- Graham Fellows, the comedian-pop star who created the fictional personae Jilted John and John Shuttleworth, had a cameo role in one episode and later returned as truck driver Les Charlton, a regular at Gail's cafe.
- Davy Jones of The Monkees made an appearance before he became famous in 1961 (and again in 1972) as Ena Sharples's grandson Colin Lomax.
- Bolton comedian Peter Kay played a shopfitter in 1997 and made a cameo appearance over two episodes in January 2004 as Eric Gartside, a man who went on a date with Shelley Unwin.
- Joanna Lumley of Absolutely Fabulous and The New Avengers played Elaine Perkins, a girlfriend of Ken Barlow, in 1973.
- Bill Maynard, better known as Greengrass on Heartbeat, appeared as song agent Micky Malone when Ena Sharples's songs were being stolen and sold by Stan Ogden.
- Sir Ian McKellen starred in 10 episodes in 2005 as con-merchant 'novelist' Melvin Hutchwright.
- Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits played Stanley Fairclough in 1961.
- Norman Wisdom, comedian, played fitness fanatic Ernie Crabbe in one episode in 2004.
- Sue Johnston, best known for her roles as Sheila Grant in Brookside and Barb Royle in The Royle Family, played Mrs. Chadwick in 1982.
- Patricia Routledge, better known as Hyacinth Bucket in the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, appeared in 1961 as Sylvia Snape.
- Zöe Lucker, who played Tanya Turner in Footballers' Wives, played Sonia Leach in 1996.
- Prunella Scales, best known as Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, played bus conductress Eileen Hughes in 1961.
- Martin Shaw, who played Doyle in the ITV action series The Professionals, played hippy Robert Croft in 1968.
- Joanne Whalley, who starred in the acclaimed BBC dramas Edge of Darkness and The Singing Detective before a Hollywood career beckoned, played Pamela Graham in 1974.
Laurence Olivier once offered to take part in a scene on the Street, acting alongside Jean Alexander, whom he admitted was his favourite actress on the programme. However, scheduling conflicts between the Street and the film Marathon Man denied him the chance to act on his favourite TV programme. Michael Crawford and Robbie Williams have both appeared as extras, drinking in the bar of the Rovers.