Saturday 25 January 2020

Corrie star Jean Alexander dies aged 90

Actress Jean Alexander played Hilda Ogden for 23 years
Actress Jean Alexander played Hilda Ogden for 23 years

Former Coronation Street actress Jean Alexander has died aged 90.

Alexander, who played the much-loved character Hilda Ogden between 1964 and 1987, died in hospital three days after her 90th birthday.

She had been admitted to Southport hospital for tests but was discharged after a couple of days and allowed to return to her nursing home, h er niece Sonia Hearld, 64, said.

But on Tuesday Alexander was readmitted to hospital, where she later died peacefully on Friday.

Mrs Hearld, of Selby, North Yorkshire, said: "My aunt died sadly earlier today."

Mrs Hearld continued: "I saw her last week when we went to see her in hospital. She was feeling a little bit poorly but she was talking to me and my husband quite happily.

"There was nothing telling us anything was wrong - she was just generally weak and under the weather.

"We have not had the details."

Mrs Hearld, who is one of Alexander's few relatives, paid tribute to her aunt and said she had continued to enjoy a celebrity status long after her stints on the famous cobbled Street and also as Aunty Wainwright, the money-grabbing local junk shop owner, on the long-running sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine, from 1988 to 2010.

"People used to stop her just to say hello and how much they missed her," Mrs Hearld said.

"She was always very good to her fans - she said 'they put me where I am'."

Alexander brought a lot of her own personality to her role, Mrs Hearld added.

"Certainly with Hilda, the fact she was such a downtrodden person but just got on with it. She just touched a chord with people."

"She did bring a lot of herself to the role but she was a different person, a private person. They were amalgams of people she had met, people she had observed and people she knew. She was very observant about people.

"Privately, she was great fun and had a great sense of humour.

"She was very glamorous - I remember when I was about four or five seeing her get ready for an evening, wearing really pretty clothes and high heels. She occasionally let me traipse around the house in them.

"She was a good role model and she had a drive that carried her through."

PA Media

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