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Quinten as Brian Tilsley in 'Coronation Street'.
12 July 1957
Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Spouse(s)||Leeza Gibbons (1989–1991) (divorced)
Paula Holmes (1992–present) (Separated)
Christopher Quinten (born Christopher Bell on 12 July 1957, Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire) is a British actor, best known for his role as Brian Tilsley on Coronation Street, which he played from 1978 to 1989.
Chris Quinten started his career as a dancer in West End productions, including the Victoria Palace with Cilla Black and Jimmy Tarbuck. He turned to acting and had his first role in the 1978 film International Velvet, starring Tatum O'Neal. This appearance led to small parts in television series like Quatermass and Hazell, and was also noticed by the Coronation Street casting offices, who gave Ivy Tilsley, the oft-seen Baldwin's worker, a son. Quinten was then signed to the programme, for which he worked for over a decade. His pairing with Gail Potter (played by Helen Worth) proved very popular for the serial in the 1980s.
In 1989, Quinten told the casting office that he was going to move to the United States to marry his then-fiancée, American talk show host Leeza Gibbons. The couple had met in 1988 in New Zealand while appearing on a Telethon, and Quinten had been hoping to stay in the series as a part-time character, but the producers rejected his offer to stay on part-time, and at the end of 1988 the decision was made to kill the character off. His final episode was aired on 15 February 1989, when Brian Tilsley was stabbed to death by a gang of teenagers outside a nightclub.
Once settled in the United States, Quinten and Gibbons worked together on the film RoboCop 2 (in which he played a reporter), and had one daughter, Lexi Quinten. The couple divorced in 1991. Quinten married Paula Holmes in 1992, but they are now separated.
Quinten returned to Britain and appeared on various chat shows. In 1994, he played Mr. Barraclough in an episode of the ITV comedy series Surgical Spirit. In 1998, it was reported that he was now touring the country with a one-man comedy rock act, and was also working as an after-dinner speaker. In 2000, he briefly returned to television acting with a guest role in the BBC soap opera Doctors.
Quinten has had a long career in pantomimes. As recently as 2010 he played Abanazar in the Consett Empire's production of Aladdin, and Ramsbottom in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre in 2011.
In August 2005 Quinten was charged with rape . In June 2006 he was cleared of this charge.