At the 2004 British Soap Awards, Barbara won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Barbara has a daughter named Maxine.
In 1993, when the UK Sun newspaper presented her with a surprise birthday cake to mark her 60th birthday, she revealed her true age, having previously pretended to be some 5 years younger.
In May 2006 she won the 'Best On-Screen Partnership' award (jointly with Malcolm Hebden) at the British Soap Awards for her role as Rita Sullivan in the British soap Coronation Street
She has been married twice. In 1954 she married Dennis Mullaney, and divorced him in 1977. She married John Knox in 1977 and divorced him in 1994.