Michael Le Vell has been charged with a string of sex offences, including raping a child.
Greater Manchester Police said Coronation Street actor is also accused of indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.
Michael Le Vell, 48, who plays Kevin Webster in the ITV1 soap, faces a total of 19 charges relating to crimes allegedly committed between 2001 and 2010.
Michael Le Vell, whose real name is Michael Robert Turner, is due before magistrates in Manchester on February 27.
Alison Levitt QC, principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said she had reviewed a decision not to prosecute Michael Le Vell following allegations made against him in 2011.
She said: “I have very carefully reviewed the evidence in this case and I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Michael Robert Turner with a number of sexual offences.
“I have authorized Greater Manchester Police to charge Mr. Turner with 19 offences, including rape of a child.
“Mr. Turner has now been charged with criminal offences and has a right to a fair trial.”
Michael Le Vell, from Hale in Greater Manchester, has played the role of garage mechanic Kevin Webster for 30 years, making him one of the longest-serving performers in Coronation Street.