Coronation Street star whose character Derek married Mavis Riley, forming one of the soap's most iconic couples
Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30
Actor Peter Baldwin, best known for his 21-year role as Derek Wilton in Coronation Street, has died aged 82.
A Coronation Street spokesman told the ITV News website: "It is with great sadness we've learned respected former Coronation Street actor Peter Baldwin has died. Peter passed away at his home in north London last night after a short illness.
"We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this sad time."
Tributes have poured in from friends and colleagues.
Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Coronation Street's Jenny Bradley, wrote on Twitter: "Lovely Peter Baldwin. Such a gentle, kind, funny man and a wonderful actor and toy shop purveyor x."
Charlie Lawson, Corrie's Jim McDonald, tweeted: "Very sorry to hear of the death of Peter Baldwin. I remember him in The GTV Club drinking G+T and putting £££££s in the bandit!! Good chap."
Actor Stuart Wolfenden, who has also appeared in the soap opera, tweeted: "Sad to hear the news Peter Baldwin has passed. Lovely man! Derek Wilton one of the Great Corrie Characters!!? RIP Peter."
Baldwin started out his career treading the boards with the West of England Theatre Company and later toured with the Old Vic.
As well as appearances in the West End theatre, Derek featured in Menace, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, and Spy Trap. But it was as Derek that he was best known.
Baldwin first appeared as Derek in 1976. His character began dating the dithering Mavis Riley shortly afterwards, creating one of the show's most iconic couples.
Their protracted relationship did not lead to their marriage until 1988.
Derek was written out of the soap in 1997, when the character had a heart attack after a road rage incident.
Baldwin, who was born in Sussex, married actress Sarah Long, who presented the BBC's long-running children's programme Play School, but she died from cancer in 1987.
After Coronation Street, Baldwin continued to appear on several TV series.
Between acting jobs, he worked at Pollock's Toy Museum and managed its traditional toy shop in London's Covent Garden, according to the BBC.
In 1988, Baldwin took over the ownership of the shop.
The actor was still recognised for his role in Coronation Street, as he told the BBC in 2010: "I even get customers from America, Canada and New Zealand who watch repeats of the show and are very surprised to see me when they walk into the shop."
Baldwin is survived by his two children.