Much-loved Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn dies aged 77
Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth in the soap, has died, her family has said.
A statement from the family said: "We are devastated and heartbroken at the passing of our much-loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great grandmother, the incredible Liz Dawn."
"Liz died peacefully last night at home with her loving family around her.
"She has been the love, light and inspiration in our lives and we are bereft at her passing."
The former star was reported to be "quite chipper" earlier this month as she recovered in hospital with a lung condition, her spokesman said.
The 77-year-old had been rushed to hospital the week previous.
Her spokesman Barry McManus told the Press Association at the time: "Liz is recovering in hospital and according to members of the family is quite chipper."
The actress treaded the cobbled streets of Weatherfield for 34 years after first appearing in the ITV1 soap in 1974 as wife of Rovers barman Jack, played by actor Bill Tarmey.
In 2004 the actress, who smoked for 50 years, was diagnosed with incurable emphysema.
Three years later she left the show due to failing health and her final scene saw Vera dying in her sleep.
Her character was written out of the show in January 2008 at the actress’s request.
By then, Dawn had become one of the longest-serving members of the cast.
She made a one-off return in 2010 as Vera's "spirit" when Jack was written out.
Tarmey died at his holiday home in Tenerife on November 9, 2012, aged 71.
Coronation Street producers and stars have paid tribute to the actress in a statement.
"It is with the greatest sadness that we have learned our beloved Liz Dawn passed away last night. Her family at Coronation Street are heartbroken," it reads.
"We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy at this very sad time to Liz's devoted husband Don, her loving children Graham, Dawn, Ann and Julie, their families and her six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
"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 such a wonderful actress who will forever be a true Coronation Street legend.
"On behalf of ITV and the programme Coronation Street's Executive Producer, Kieran Roberts said:
"Liz Dawn was a true Coronation Street legend, a brilliant actor and a wonderful person. Everyone lucky enough to have worked with Liz during her thirty-four years playing Corrie icon Vera Duckworth will remember her with huge affection."
Tributes have been pouring in for the star on social media.
So sad ... the amazing warm hearted, generous and hilarious Liz Dawn has died. Working with Liz and Bill was highlight of my time at Corrie— Tracy Brabin MP (@TracyBrabin) September 26, 2017
RIP Liz Dawn— Shayne Ward (@shayneTward) September 26, 2017
R.I.P to the iconic star Liz dawn x another absolute Corrie legend has sadly passed! Xx— Sam Bailey Official (@SamBaileyREAL) September 26, 2017
Rip liz dawn aka vera duckworth corrie has lost a comedy legend— Jay Fox (@JayFox10115746) September 26, 2017
Liz Dawn you will be missed Ta ra chuck X— Johndottir (@MissJCannon) September 26, 2017