Anna, Eddie and 22-year-old Gary moved into No.6 in 2008. They were initially unpopular in the Street due to their feud with their immediate neighbours the Platts, which started when they refused to pay for a kitchen fitted by Joe McIntyre at their previous address. Gradually they settled in, though Gary remained a loose cannon, causing Anna no end of despair.
In 2010, Anna pushed for the Windasses to become foster parents. This led to Anna and Eddie's separation as Eddie, initially supportive, couldn't cope with troubled young Faye and left to work in Germany. Anna then got close to builder Owen Armstrong and, having adopted Faye, they became a family unit. Times were often hard; in 2013 they were blackmailed by Owen's business partner Pat Phelan, who Anna slept with in order for him to release Gary and Owen from their contract. Two years later, Faye gave birth to a daughter, Miley, at thirteen years old and Anna finished with Owen after he thumped Craig Tinker, wrongly believing him to be the father.
In 2016, Anna was caught up in a car explosion and her legs received serious burns, causing scars both physical and emotional. That same year, Phelan returned and started to build a future in Coronation Street, marrying Eileen Grimshaw and taking over Jason's building firm. Anna suspected him of multiple crimes, but was never able to prove her allegations and so was forced to tolerate his presence in her life. However, her bitterness caused a two-year relationship with Kevin Webster to break down.
When Phelan set Anna up to be blamed for pushing Seb Franklin off his ladder in 2017, Anna was wrongfully convicted of attempted murder. Her incarceration lasted only months as she was let out on bail when Phelan was found to have murdered four people. At the time of her release, Phelan was on the run from the police. Anna located and fatally stabbed him, rescuing his hostage Michelle Connor and ending his reign of terror.
1967-2010: Windass matriarch
Anna was born in 1967, and later met Eddie Windass. In 1986 their son Gary was born. Anna and Eddie never married, but they remained together and presented themselves to the world as a married couple. Eddie had proposed several times but she always turned him down. Eddie was involved in scams with his brother Len, often bringing trouble. He had also begun faking a disability. Gary grew up to be a trouble maker, often ending up in prison time and again.
In 2008, the family began a feud with Joe McIntyre and the Platts after refusing to pay for a kitchen he fitted in their house. Joe's daughter's boyfriend David Platt came round and ripped out the kitchen. Anna, Eddie and Gary moved next door to the Platt family after renting the house from Jerry Morton. Anna decided to make amends and made friends with Gail Platt, Joe's girlfriend, although Joe and David weren't happy with the idea. Gary and David began to have feuds, and ended up getting into a fight which nearly got Gary done for assault, but thankfully David's girlfriend Tina McIntyre told the truth in court that David threw the first punch, and they later split up.
Anna got herself a job in Roy's Rolls, but Eddie wanted some free booze so took Roy Cropper's identity and went on a shopping trip at the cash and carry, all without Anna's knowledge. He wasn't found out until Roy's wife Hayley discovered that "Roy" had won a prize for being the millionth customer, and won a holiday. Anna felt embarrassed but the Croppers decided not to press charges and let Anna keep her job. She then told Eddie to stop his scheming and to stop faking his disability.
2010-2011: Fostering and Eddie's departure
In January 2011, Anna started fostering a troubled young girl named Faye Butler. This caused difficulties between Anna and Eddie as he didn't want to adopt but he nevertheless wanted to make Anna happy so he let it go through. However, when he couldn't cope, he split with Anna and moved to Germany. Eddie had initially offered Anna to join him in Germany, although Anna turned down the offer as she wanted to stick by Faye, who had recently just lost her mother to a drug overdose.
2011-2013: Moving onto Owen
Anna began a relationship with builder Owen Armstrong, whose daughter Izzy was dating Gary. When Anna's landlord Jerry Morton took the decision to sell his house in 2011, he gave Anna the opportunity to buy the house as she had stayed in it for nearly three years at this point. But Anna was unable to raise the funds to buy the property and feared that she would lose the house, and that Faye would lose another home. A sympathetic Owen stepped in and bought the property and appointed himself as Anna's new landlord. But as their relationship blossomed, Owen eventually moved in as a resident. But their relationship was tried when Faye took a dislike to Owen and after killing his fish he slapped her across the face. Anna was outraged and threw Owen out, although the pair eventually rekinkled their relationship and Faye warmed up to Owen.
2013-2014: Enter Pat Phelan
In December 2013 a former client of Owen's named Pat Phelan and Pat's wife Valerie wanted the Armstrong/Windass clan to help invest in a property deal that Owen was setting up, which involved the construction of a new block of flats. Because Phelan was a bankrupt he wanted Owen to invest in the business, although the return would make them wealthy. The rest of the family were keen on the idea, but Anna wasn't so convinced, mainly due to Phelan's previous attempt to not pay Owen for construction work a couple of months previously. Anna was eventually talked round by the rest of the family, especially Owen, in investing in the enterprise, and she reluctantly accepted. Owen took out a loan and invested in the venture, and Anna stood by with gritted teeth.
In the months following their partnership with the Phelans, the family became friendly with Pat and his wife, but Anna was unsettled around Phelan, especially as he would inappropriately secretly touch her on several occasions when they were socialise. Anna found it hard to tell Owen about the harassment, so decided to make a stand against Phelan herself. She invited him round to the house and told him to leave her alone, but Phelan ended up accusing her of trying to come onto him and cheat behind Owen's back, and attempted to make another pass before leaving. the incident shook Anna, but she was scared of how Owen would react so opened up to Izzy. Izzy ended up telling Gary, who had a violent confrontation with Phelan at the building site which resulted in Gary knocking Phelan out with a pole. Gary was scared that he had killed Phelan and went to get Owen, but when the two men returned Phelan was gone.
Phelan later revealed that he had taped the entire confrontation on CCTV, and made threats to shop Gary to the police unless Owen met his demands. Owen and Gary were then forced to do grueling work and overtime under Phelan's watch, with Phelan delighting in driving them to exhaustion. He would then taunt them by making them undo work previously done and starting over again. Phelan then twisted the knife by deciding to keep Owen's investment, meaning that the family wouldn't get back their money or any profit for the work, leaving them facing debt.
Anna was concerned by Owen's mental state, especially after she witnessed him contemplating burning down the building site, and attempted to appeal to Phelan. Phelan was dismissive, but offered to drop Owen and Gary from the project and set them free as long as she slept with him. Anna was disgusted and refused, but unable to see the two men she loved being under his control any further she agreed. Anna met with Phelan at a run down hotel room and had sexual intercourse with him, the situation which disgusted her. A guilty Anna returned home and was met with her family who had cooked her dinner for all she had done to help them. Phelan later called round and revealed that he was dropping both Owen and Gary, and handed over the tape containing Gary's assault. Although the situation was over, the family were left in debt and Anna traumatised having been raped by Phelan.
2014-2016: Debt problems, Faye's pregnancy and Owen's departure
In April 2014, Anna took on the role of cleaner at the Rovers, because of the financial problems that the family was suffering from. A couple of months later the family received a postcard from Phelan, and Anna later confessed to Owen how she had slept with Phelan in order to save her family. Owen was heartbroken and the situation tested their relationship. Owen eventually moved out of the household, although the pair reconciled but the damage was already felt. Owen later left the street in March 2015.
In April 2015, Faye gave birth to her daughter, Miley, just at the age of thirteen. She wanted to give her up for adoption, devastating Anna, as she didn't want Faye to make the wrong decision, but Anna's then boyfriend, Owen Armstrong, only saw Anna's actions as selfish.
In June, at Miley's christening, Faye ran out of St. Mary's Church and she confided in her biological dad, Tim Metcalfe, that she was not ready to be a mother yet. The baby's paternal grandparents, Greig and Josie Hodge offered to have baby Miley to go and live with them. Both Anna and Tim were against the idea but soon discovered this was the only option to prevent baby Miley from being adopted. Later that same month, Anna and the rest of the Windasses said a tearful goodbye to baby Miley. In August, the Hodges moved to Canada with the baby with no intention of returning.
In September 2015, during the leaving party of Lloyd Mullaney and Andrea Beckett at the Rovers, Anna drunkenly told Tim that his fiancé Sally Webster had kissed her ex-lover: Kevin. This briefly ruined their relationship, but Sally and Tim eventually made up and went on to marry. By that time, Anna and Kevin had bonded and they gradually embarked on a relationship.
2016-2017: Anna vs Pat Phelan
Later on that night, she witnessed Kevin jumping in to save a man's life after nearly getting struck by Jamie Bowman - who had just robbed the Bistro and left Carla Connor brutally unconscious. Anna was relieved when she rushed over to Kevin, glad that he was unharmed, but was surprised to see that the man whom he saved was Phelan - who himself had returned to the streets. After informing Izzy of his return, Anna was started when Phelan visited her and promised that she wouldn't cause him any trouble as long as he didn't either.
At first it looked like that Phelan wasn't staying long when Kevin assured Anna that it was only a brief contract, even though she hasn't told him about her past with Phelan; however, as the pressure went on for her, Anna grew so outraged that she stormed round to the yard and smashed his van before lashing out at him. Phelan later went round to demand that she apologise to him in public at the Rovers. When Anna refused and tried standing up to him, Phelan pinned her against the wall and started to issue further threats when Kevin walked in at that moment - thus realising how Anna was right about Phelan. After seeing Phelan bond a relationship with Eileen Grimshaw, Anna attempted to warn her about him - only to be dismissed as Phelan has already swayed Eileen into believing otherwise. Shortly afterwards, Anna clashed with Phelan again when he told her that he would be staying for as long as he pleased.
Three months before the end of 2016, in October, Anna was horrified when Gary was nearly killed during an attempt to rescue Lily Platt - whose father, David, was involved in a car accident. Although she and the residents helped Gary rescue Lily before the car exploded, Anna was caught up in a second explosion that badly burned her legs. Despite the extend of her injuries, Anna gradually recovered for the rest of the year.
In the midst of her recovery, Anna unwittingly discovered that Phelan and his cohort Vinny Ashford had been conning the residents out of £15,000 - including Gary's girlfriend Sarah Platt along with fellow residents Rita Tanner and Yasmeen Nazir. Teaming up with Eileen's ex-boyfriend Michael Rodwell, who shared Anna's mutual hatred of Phelan given their feud earlier on, the pair sought to bring down Phelan: while Michael broke into Vinny's site office to extract evidence against them, Anna attempted to stall Phelan by inviting him over and then offering £2,000 for him to leave Weatherfield for good. However, Phelan learned of their conspiracy when he caught Anna with his phone and left to confront Michael in a showdown - which tragically ended when Michael died of a heart attack, and Phelan watched him die to stop him from exposing his Calcutta Street scam. Anna was guilt-ridden over Michael's death and tried unsuccessfully in vain to expose Phelan's role in it, even failing to expose his involvement in the scam by the time the residents learned the truth after Vinny did a runner with all the money.
In 2017, problems occurred between Anna and her daughter when Faye formed a relationship with Phelan's apprentice: Seb Franklin, particularly as he got arrested for assaulting Miley's father Jackson Hodge - who had briefly came back with Miley for Faye to spend time with her. Over time, however, Anna gradually accepted Seb being together with Faye when she learned the truth about his poverty.
In October 2017, Anna and Seb's bonding strained when social services took his young siblings away from Abi Franklin's custody and he accused her of calling them. The next day, when Seb again confronted Anna and started calling her names, she slapped him in front of some witnesses - including Phelan. Towards the end of her shift in that evening, Anna witnessed Seb fall off a ladder and phoned an ambulance. At Weatherfield General, while awaiting news of his recovery, Anna formed a conversation with Seb's social worker: Nicola Rubinstein, who she had recently learned was Phelan's long-lost daughter. Following an earlier altercation with Phelan over her incident with Seb at the café, Anna confided in Nicola about what her father had done to her as well as Gary and Owen. This triggered a conversation between Nicola and her father, though not before she used Anna's warning to learn that Phelan had raped her own mother Annabel Rubinstein just nine months before her birth; the argument ended with Nicola disowning Phelan after concluding that Anna was telling the truth about him.
Plotting revenge over turning his daughter against him, Phelan framed Anna for pushing Seb off a ladder by placing her earring - which she dropped in the Builder's Yard, after her altercation with Phelan, inside Barlow Legal Services (which was the building from which Seb fell). In November 2017, Anna learned about Phelan's plan after being arrested and then released. When she confronted him over this, Anna was shocked to learn from Phelan that Gary and Nicola had not only been having an affair - but Nicola was also expecting a baby. After Phelan refunded everyone who was affected in the Calcutta Street flats scam, he tried to convince Anna he was a changed man. Anna placed a recording mobile phone in her kitchen and invited Phelan over for a drink, hoping to get him to confess to framing her; however, Phelan pretended he had no clue what she was talking about.
Later that night, Phelan manipulated Seb into believing that Anna pushed him off the ladder; which eventually led to Anna being arrested and charged with GBH. In December 2017, she fainted in prison and was rushed to hospital - where she took an opportunity to escape, only to be rearrested. In January 2018, Anna was found guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment. She, and her family, absolutely shocked by the verdict, viewed nothing but contempt towards Pat - especially Anna, who called him 'pure evil.'
2018: Settling the score
Anna was released from Norcross Prison amid the discovery that Pat Phelan was in fact a serial killer, a rapist and a fraudster. Her son Gary was determined to find Phelan and hurt him for all the grief he had given the Windass family. Gary drove to Wales with his friend Joe Haslam, knocked Pat unconscious and kidnapped him from the caravan park in Abergele where he had been hiding. Pat was forcibly returned to Weatherfield in the back of Gary's van and locked up inside the Builder's Yard where he once worked. After an unsuccessful escape attempt from captivity involving bribing Jack Webster with money, Pat managed to trick Gary and his girlfriend Sarah, and he escaped from the room; locking the pair inside. He then retrieved a pistol he'd hidden in the yard months previously that the police hadn't found when they raided the premises following Eileen's wrongful arrest for her role in his crimes. He walked across to No. 11 and accidentally shot his daughter, Nicola during Seb's attempt to disarm him. As he walked into the bistro, ordering help for his badly injured daughter Nicola; he forcibly strangled Michelle Connor in the kitchen, where Anna stood. Michelle tried to break free from Phelan's clutches, but he shot her. Anna, in retaliation and self-defence, ran up to Phelan and stabbed him in the chest.
Phelan, wishing to evade imprisonment, took the knife out, causing him to bleed out profusely. He died moments later, with Anna announcing her victory over Phelan, laconically stating to his face before his death: "I win." Following the incident, Anna revealed her plans to move to Durham for a new life, with Faye going with her. However, Faye did not stay in Durham for long, and returned to Weatherfield to live with her father, Tim Metcalfe and her stepmother Sally at No.4.
Hobbies and interests
- In 2009, it was mentioned that Anna's mother is dead.
- Anna is a fan of Dolly Parton, and once saw Duran Duran live in concert as a teenager.
- Anna mentioned her favourite food is Shepherd's Pie.
- Anna has a brother who has never appeared on-screen, that lives in Liverpool. She went to visit him off-screen once for a couple of days.
Following nine years in the role, it was revealed in 2017 that Debbie Rush was leaving the show. The character departed the series in January 2018 in which she was sent to prison after being stitched up by her nemesis Pat Phelan. The character made a return for the conclusion of the Pat Phelan storyline in May that year, which wasn't previously announced and left as a surprise to the audience. She made her final appearance as Anna in Episode 9471 on 1st June 2018.
Although never married to Eddie, the character was still credited with the surname "Windass" and referred to as such throughout the show, with her maiden name never disclosed.
First and last lines
"Like Torvill and Dean." (First line)
"Thanks, Kev." (Final line)
List of addresses
|Unknown||unknown date to December 2008|
|6 Coronation Street||8th December 2008 to 2014|
|19a Rosamund Street||2014-2016|
|13 Coronation Street||2016-2017|
|Durham||28th May 2018 to present|
|Cleaner||Rovers Return Inn||2014-2017|
|Cleaner||Unknown place in Durham||June 2018 onwards|