|Portrayed by||Toke Townley|
|First appearance||16 October 1972|
|Last appearance||22 November 1984|
|Created by||Kevin Laffan|
|Introduced by||David Goddard|
Samuel "Sam" Pearson is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale , played by Toke Townley. Sam is one of the show's original characters appeared for twelve years from the first episode in 1972 until Townley's death in September 1984.
Sam was often referred to as "Grandad" by other characters in the show. Townley was Emmerdale's eldest cast member and his on-set persona was unique.Townley would often lose his scripts and call sheets. Though his fellow cast members did not mind because he would always perform well during filming. Emmerdale producer Richard Handford said that Townley "was such a marvellous character and on the day, he could deliver a performance that was magical."
Off-screen Townley had ill-health related to his heart and kept it a secret from production. While out shopping, Townley collapsed and was taken into hospital.Handford visited Townley in hospital and believed he would recover. However, Townley died in his sleep that evening and writers were left with the dilemma of how to write Sam out of the series. Writers decided to kill the character off in a similar way. After Sam's death, a picture of him was placed on the mantlepiece of the Sugden home. Handford recalled "he was very good company and a true professional. There was no question of finding another actor to play Sam Pearson. Toke Townley was irreplaceable."
Sam attended his son-in-law's funeral with the rest of the family on 16 October 1972. In 1973, he asked to be confirmed by the church after suffering a bout of ill health, thinking he was going to die soon. However, this was just a scare and he soon got better and was involved in a fracas with old wartime friend, Charlie Nelson, in late 1973.
In 1975, he was annoyed to find that Annie had been in contact with his niece, Jean Kendall, in Middlesbrough. Sam had disowned the family after his sister Rosemary was ill-treated by her husband Arthur Kendall. In March, Jean's 16-year-old daughter, Rosemary Kendall, turned up and Sam agreed to let her stay. The same year, he was disappointed to find he would not become the new churchwarden after Wally Lumm died.
In 1983, Sam Pearson was grumbling because grandson Joe was seeing a married woman, Barbara Peters. In November 1984, Sam won first prize at the Village Annual Pumpkin Show. He died peacefully in his sleep that night and daughter Annie found him dead in his bed when she took him his morning cup of tea. His funeral took place a few days later. Annie found that Sam had told Reverend Donald Hinton (Hugh Manning) that he had not much time left and not to tell Annie until after he had died.
John Jacob "Jack" Sugden is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale. The character was originally played by Andrew Burt from 1972 to 1973 with a brief return in 1976, when the actor left for Italy to write a book. On his return in 1980 he was played by Clive Hornby. Hornby remained in the role until 2008 when he was forced to take a break from Emmerdale due to illness. His last on-screen appearance was on 21 February 2008, and his absence was explained by the character visiting his mother, Annie Sugden in Spain. Although Hornby was intended to return, he died from his illness in July 2008 without returning to the programme. Jack was written out following Hornby's death, dying off-screen of a heart attack in February 2009.
Zoe Tate is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Leah Bracknell. She made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 12 December 1989. Zoe was involved in many major storylines during her time on the soap, including the deaths of her father Frank and brother Chris, the betrayal and departure of her stepmother Kim, coming out as gay and a battle with schizophrenia. Zoe became the first lesbian character in a British soap opera when she came out in 1993. She departed on 22 September 2005.
Betty Eagleton is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale, played by Paula Tilbrook. She made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 12 April 1994. Betty is characterised as the village gossip who is kind hearted, fun, adventurous and enjoys a sherry. Tilbrook was initially cast for three episodes and the character was introduced as the wartime girlfriend of Seth Armstrong. Upon her arrival, the characters reconcile and their relationship continues until Seth's death in 2005. Tilbrook retired in 2015 and the character departs in the episode broadcast on 25 May 2015, returning briefly for a cameo appearance in the Christmas episode that year. The character and Tilbrook's performance were widely praised by both viewers and critics alike; Brian Beacom of The Herald labelled her "a national treasure".
Annie Sugden is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale. She was played by Sheila Mercier as a regular character between 1972 and 1994, with occasional guest appearances in the show after her original departure. Mercier cut back on location filming during the late 1980s and eventually left the serial in 1994 due to the gruelling schedule. Annie was one of Emmerdale's original characters, appearing in its first episode on 16 October 1972 and became the longest serving female character in the series' history. She was the soap's "first matriarch", the maternal force behind the Sugden family, who were collectively one of Emmerdale's main focal points.
Amos Brearly is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Ronald Magill. He made his first appearance during the serial's debut episode on 16 October 1972. Amos ran The Woolpack pub and was the village gossip. A double act was later formed between Amos and Henry Wilks, which lasted for 19 years. Amos became known for this bushy sideburns and catchphrase "Nay, Mr Wilks". Magill left the show in January 1991, but reprised the role for several brief appearances until July 1995.
Patricia Ruth "Pat" Sugden is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by actresses Lynn Dalby and Helen Weir.
Joseph "Joe" Sugden is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Frazer Hines. He first appeared on-screen during the soap's first episode broadcast 16 October 1972 and remained in the programme until 1983. After a brief return in the following year, Hines reprised his role on a permanent basis in 1986, a landmark year for the show under Richard Handford. He made his last appearance in August 1994, and subsequently died off-screen the following year. In 2019, Hines confirmed that he would like to return to the soap despite his off-screen death.
Henry Wilks is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Arthur Pentelow. He ran the Woolpack public house alongside Amos Brearly for nearly 20 years.
Dolly Skilbeck is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale. Dolly made her first on-screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 22 February 1977. The character was initially played by Katharine Barker, before Jean Rogers took over the role in 1980. She remained in the role until her departure from Emmerdale in 1991. Dolly is characterised as kind, generous and a homemaker. She is a "townie" from Darlington who arrives in Beckindale to work at the local pub, The Woolpack. Writers quickly developed a romance with Matt Skilbeck. He was a widower and had previously has two children that had died.
Matt Skilbeck is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Frederick Pyne. He is one of the series' original characters and made his debut in the first episode broadcast on 16 October 1972. Pyne was interviewed for the role in 1971 and cast the following year. He came into the show with farming knowledge and an expectation that he would only be in it for five years. Matt is a sheep farmer and married to Peggy Skilbeck at the beginning of the serial. Matt is characterised as mild-mannered, honest, and stubborn, although Pyne thought his character was too nice. Following Peggy's death and those of his children, Matt marries barmaid Dolly Acaster. A change in Matt's personality occurs when quarry owner Harry Mowlem makes advances towards Dolly and Matt attacks him, leading to his arrest for Mowlem's murder. Pyne decided to leave Emmerdale in 1989 to pursue work in the theatre. He was unhappy that the writers chose to split Matt and Dolly up, as they had been one of the few remaining happy families in soap at the time.
John Antony Townley, known professionally as Toke Townley, was an English actor.
Storylines of Emmerdale, the British ITV soap opera, have spanned more than five decades, from the programme's inception in October 1972 until the present day. Emmerdale has covered a number of storylines that created dispute and debate in the media and caused public outcry from viewers. A viewer poll conducted in January 2021 found that the top three storylines/episodes voted by viewers were the Emmerdale plane crash of 1993, the Storm of 2003 that occurred on around the 10th anniversary of the plane crash, and the Hotten Bypass Crash in 2016. Some storylines are seen as having caused controversy amongst viewers and in the media due to the sudden sacking of an actor by the programme's producer, or as a result of a topic or theme that openly shocked viewers or was seen as taboo.
Katherine "Kathy" Brookman is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Malandra Burrows. She made her first appearance during the episode broadcast on 26 November 1985. In 2001, new series producer Steve Frost decided to write the character out. Burrows briefly reprised the role in 2005, as Kathy returns for the funeral of Seth Armstrong. She was one of the show's central characters throughout that time.
The Sugdens, are a fictional family in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. Introduced during the show's conception in 1972, they were the main family for storylines between the 1970s and 1980s and remained as such for many years. The families original unit consisted of widowed farmer Annie Sugden, alongside her children Peggy Skilbeck, Jack Sugden and Joe Sugden. Subsequently these characters went on to produce more generations of Sugdens.