Rachel Tate in Emmerdale was the second wife of Chris Tate and mother to his son Joseph Tate, who she named after her stepfather Joe Sugden, who died the day baby Joseph was born.
After Rachel’s marriage to Chris broke down, she went on to get engaged to teacher Graham Clark – a controlling, abusive man who – unbeknownst to the residents of Emmerdale – had already killed his first wife.
Rachel was known to have an eye for a married man.
She had an affair with Chris when he was still married to first wife Kathy, and as a teenager had a romance with married Pete Whiteley. She even had a relationship with Jack Sugden, when he was married to wife Sarah.
Rachel and Chris Tate in Emmerdale
The plane crash in Beckindale, as the village of Emmerdale was known back then, killed Rachel’s brother, Mark, and left Chris Tate injured and using a wheelchair.
The pair found comfort in one another and Rachel began giving Chris swimming lessons. They fell in love and started an affair.
When Chris’s wife, Kathy, found out, she attacked Rachel! But the women eventually became friends again.
Rachel gave birth to Joseph and was granted custody when the couple split.
Rachel and Graham Clark
When Joe was four, Rachel Tate in Emmerdale got a new job at Hotton Comp, where she met teacher Graham Clark.
He seemed perfect, but when he moved in with Rachel his controlling behaviour began to rear its head. He rearranged Rachel’s belongings and chose her clothes and hairstyle – trying to make her look like his late wife, though he denied it was deliberate.
Graham tried to isolate Rachel from her friends, encouraging her to leave work and move away, though Rachel wasn’t keen.
She confided in Eric Pollard that she was thinking of leaving him, but at the picnic where she planned to break the news, Graham twigged what she was doing and instead proposed and Rachel accepted.
But after another row about moving away, Rachel realised with horror that Graham had killed his first wife. And she became the murderer’s next victim when he pushed her off a cliff.
Eric Pollard suspected Graham of killing Rachel but couldn’t prove it. Graham was eventually killed when he drove his car off a cliff.
Rachel’s murder affected her young son, Joe.
He lived with Chris until his death in 2003, then emigrated to New Zealand with his aunt Zoe Tate and cousin Jean.
Joe returned to Emmerdale in 2017, using the name Tom Waterhouse, in an attempt to take revenge on Charity Dingle, who he blamed for his dad’s death.
Who played Rachel Tate in Emmerdale?
Rachel Tate in Emmerdale was played by actor Glenda McKay. She starred in the show alongside her brother Craig McKay, who played her on-screen sibling, Mark.
After she left Emmerdale, Glenda made a few appearances on television, including in Coronation Street and in Hollyoaks, but she decided to change careers. She’s now a teacher in her native Yorkshire.
Though there’s no chance of Rachel returning to Emmerdale, we’d love to see Joe Tate back in the Dales. Would you?
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