Barbara Jacqueline Owen made her first appearance on 6 July 2000. She is portrayed by Sheila Hancock.
Barbara (unknown maiden surname) was born in 1937. She met and married a man 8 years her junior called Richard Owen in 1962 and they married and had 2 children, Jacqueline Owen in August 1963 and Steven Richard Owen in March 1965.
Barbara is first seen in July 2000 as Steve and Jackie Owen's poisonous mother. She is a widow by then. Steve is going through a drugs problem and visits his mother after finding out she is dying of heart disease. Barbara is obsessed with the British Royal Family, though not so caring about her own children. Barbara attends Steve's wedding to Melanie Owen in March 2001, taking a shine to his nemesis Phil Mitchell, to the point of putting his photograph on her fireplace mantel. Steve visits Barbara in July 2001 when she is in a critical condition and confronts her about the abuse she'd showered on him when he was a child. She tries to defend her actions by saying her husband left her to bring up two children with no money. She refuses to let Steve call an ambulance and asks him to kiss her. He gives her a peck on the forehead but she asks for a kiss on the lips. When he leans forward, she grabs him and gives him an extremely passionate kiss, telling him he is an attractive man. Steve is disgusted and leaves. Barbara dies soon after. Melanie is the only person in attendance at Barbara's funeral, while Steve is playing away with another woman. When Steve dies in a car accident in March 2002, his ashes are dumped on Barbara's grave by Phil.
In 2018, Melanie and her and Steve's son Hunter visited Barbara's grave.