|Portrayed by||Ann Mitchell|
|First Appearance||11th April 2011|
Everything about Cora is big - big attitude, big bling, big hair. A great port in a storm, she's the go-to girl for say-it-as-I-see-it advice. If you fancy a big night out, she's your woman too.
Cora Cross is a whirlwind of chaos who's storming into The Square. She's an unpredictable character that you either love being around or steer well clear of.
Outwardly, Cora’s tough as old boots and doesn’t give a stuff what people think of her. But underneath all her bling and hair dye there is a sadness to her. She’s lonely, and wishes she had a relationship with her daughters Tanya & Rainie.
Unpredictable Cora has lived on an estate all her life. She’s never really had any money and finds it impossible to hold down a job. Even though she’s always skint, she does enjoy the finer things in life. She’s a fan of gold, and her big earrings may even outshine some of Pat's. This lary lady won’t back down from an argument and holds lifelong grudges. Cross Cora at your peril!
Cora likes the high life. She likes to get out, have a drink and a sing-song, tell a few stories - and maybe dole out a few home truths when someone needs taking down a peg or two.
Although relationship-building generally comes second to sticking her beak in where it's not wanted and offering unwanted advice, she is fiercely defensive of her family and only wants the best for them. If a fight breaks out, this is a lady you want on your side.
Patrick questions Cora about a cake she is baking, she tells him it is for Ava's birthday, she is in fact alive and she was forced to give her up for adoption. Her erratic behaviour continues and she is subsequently fired from the charity shop. Patrick reveals to Tanya that Ava is alive, so Tanya tracks her down to a school in Dalston where she works as a deputy headmistress. Tanya is shocked to discover that Ava is mixed-race and decides to leave things. However, she leaves her purse behind, and Ava returns it to Tanya's home, where Cora is horrified when she introduces herself by her name.
Tanya reveals the truth, and Cora leaves. She is angry at Patrick when he says he told Tanya the truth and ends the relationship. Cora then speaks to Ava, and Ava has many questions. Ava says she thought about finding Cora before but decided against it as she wanted to keep the past in the past, and says that nothing has changed now, rejecting Cora. Ava leaves and Cora cries. Cora later goes to Ava's workplace and gives her a Christmas card, and a short while later, Ava brings one for Cora. She also reconciles with Patrick but they stay friends.
As Christmas nears, Cora reunites with Tanya, and is invited for Christmas with the Brannings. At Derek Branning's funeral, Cora delivers an honest eulogy. Cora comforts Tanya after she splits with Max. She befriends her grandson, Ava's son Dexter Hartman, who helps to bring Cora and Ava closer. Cora is a support to Tanya and Lauren while Lauren goes through alcoholism. Tanya takes Lauren away to a clinic, but Tanya does not return when Lauren does. When Dexter's father Sam James arrives, he tries to win Cora over but she sees that Ava and Dexter are upset and warns him off.
Ava and Sam reunite, and Cora eventually tells Dexter, who is initially angry but comes to terms with the relationship. Cora is jealous when Patrick picks Betty Spragg as his dance partner, making fun of her behind her back and angering Patrick, putting a strain on their friendship. Abi and Kim Fox plot to get Cora and Patrick back together, locking them in a shed. Patrick ends his friendship with Betty and resumes a relationship with Cora.
When Tanya moves away from Walford, Cora continues to live with Lauren and Abi, and they are later joined by Dexter when Ava moves to Newcastle. Cora supports her granddaughters when Max is in prison for attempted murder, but following his release from prison and separation from his third wife Kirsty, he buys number 5 Albert Square, and throws Cora and Dexter out, as they do nothing around the house.
They move in with Patrick, but he ends his relationship with Cora, in March 2014, due to some insensitive comments that she makes to Dot, following the death of her son Nick Cotton. He later tells her that she and Dexter have 1 month to find somewhere else. Cora steals money from the laundrette, in order to rent a flat, but after Dot finds her stealing money from the washing machines, Cora loses hope until Stan Carter, who she has recently befriended agrees to give her some cash.
Cora and Dexter later move into the flat above the doctors surgery, 1a Albert Square, and go halves on the monthly £200 rent. Lauren and Abi move in with her when Max is revealed to have been sleeping with Lucy Beale, Lauren's best friend, before her recent death. Cora becomes suspicious that Max is withholding information from the police and calls them to clarify his statement. She later warns him not to hurt Lauren and Abi any further.