Coronation Street star Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth, dies aged 77

26 September 2017, 11:04

Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth in the soap for 34 years, has died.

In a statement, the 77-year-old's family said the actress died peacefully at home with relatives around her on Monday night.

"We are devastated and heartbroken at the passing of our much-loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother, the incredible Liz Dawn," they said.

"She has been the love, light and inspiration in our lives and we are bereft at her passing."

Dawn first appeared in ITV's Coronation Street in 1974, before returning as a regular two years later.

The actress went on to star in more than 6,700 episodes, as Vera Duckworth and her husband Jack, played by Bill Tarmey, became two of the soap's best-loved characters.

Dawn was diagnosed with emphysema in 2004 and left the show four years later in an episode which attracted more than 12.5m viewers.

She returned to make a cameo appearance in 2010, when Jack Duckworth saw a vision of his wife before passing away.

During her career, Dawn was honoured with an MBE for charity work and received the lifetime achievement award at the 2008 British Soap Awards.

Former Coronation Street actress Tracy Brabin described her as "warm-hearted, generous and hilarious".

Ms Brabin, now MP for Batley and Spen, told Sky News: "I always thought she was incredibly humble and that she knew the importance of it.

"She was internationally famous, she supported her family and did charity work.

"If Liz Dawn was in the building everyone would want to be around her because she was a ray of light."

ITV said Coronation Street stars were "heartbroken" over the star's death.

The TV channel said in a statement: "We have been blessed to have Liz in our lives, as she was such a kind, considerate and caring friend and colleague.

"As Coronation Street's Vera Duckworth for 34 years, Liz brought so much joy and happiness to so many.

"She was a wonderful actress who will forever be a true Coronation Street legend."

Meanwhile, co-star Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts, tweeted: "Liz Dawn made me laugh every time I was was with her, that will be my everlasting memory of her."

Liz Dawn is survived by her husband Don, their four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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