Beloved actor Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth on long-running British soap opera Coronation Street for 34 years, has died at the age of 77.
Her family released a statement saying that Dawn died peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by loved ones, on Monday evening.
“We are devastated and heartbroken at the passing of our much-loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother, the incredible Liz Dawn,” read the statement. “She has been the love, light and inspiration in our lives and we are bereft at her passing.”
Her second family, the cast of Coronation Street, was “heartbroken” upon hearing the news, according to broadcaster ITV.
“We have been blessed to have Liz in our lives, as she was such a kind, considerate and caring friend and colleague,” said a statement from the network. “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.”
Dawn played Vera from 1974 until 2008, when the character was killed off (the episode brought in more than 12 million viewers when it aired). Dawn had been diagnosed with emphysema four years prior to leaving the show. Her health got worse after leaving, and she suffered a heart attack in 2013.
Dawn claimed to be “very emotional” shooting her final scenes but said she had a “marvellous” time playing Vera. Many of her castmates, past and present, tweeted their condolences.
Just heard the terrible news of our lovely Liz Dawns passing. I'm so sad. What a wonderful lady. She will be so missed. Love to her family x
— Kym Marsh (@msm4rsh) September 26, 2017
Very sad to hear of Liz Dawn's Passing thoughts to family & friends #corrielegend
— Jimi Mistry (@JimiMistry) September 26, 2017
Liz Dawn made me laugh every time I was was with her , that will be my everlasting memory of her sleep well kid
— Kevin Kennedy (@mrkevkennedy) September 26, 2017
Dawn leaves behind her husband, Don Ibbetson, and four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.