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RECAP: Coronation Street star Liz Dawn has died

The actress played Vera Duckworth on Corrie for 34 years

Coronation Street icon Liz Dawn has died aged 77, it was confirmed this morning.

The actress, who played Vera Duckworth on the soap for more than three decades, passed away last night according to ITV.

"It is with the greatest sadness that we have learned our beloved Liz Dawn passed away last night," Corrie producers said.

The cause of her death has not been confirmed, however she had been suffering from lung condition emphysema since 2007.

She had recently been admitted to hospital for two weeks with breathing problems but had returned home where she was said to be recovering.

Liz, who was from Leeds, made her last appearance on Corrie in January 2008, when Vera Duckworth died in her sleep. It was the end of a 34 year role and goodbye to one of the street's best-known characters.

Tributes are flooding in for the star this morning from her family, friends and co-stars.

Recap of people's tributes

Here’s a summary of what people have said:

  • Her family said: “She has been the love, light and inspiration in our lives and we are bereft at her passing.”
  • Mark Bickerton, who was a story editor at Coronation Street for 20 years, described her as ‘hilarious company and extremely dedicated’.
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said she was ‘as warm as Betty’s Hotpot’ and MP Tracy Brabin called her a ‘a true working class warrior’.
  • Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts, said: “I can only smile when I think of Liz. I can’t think of a better epitaph.”
  • Jannie McAlpine, who plays Fiz, told Loose Women that Liz was ‘so down to earth’ and that it was an honour to work with her.
  • Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster, said: “‘There will never be another Vera Duckworth.”

'I can only smile when I think of Liz', says actor Kevin Kennedy

Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts, has remembered Liz as a nurturing influence on the Corrie cast.
He told ITV’s This Morning:

“It’s very sad. We are a big family.

“I was thinking about what to say about Liz.

“My thoughts go out to Don and her family.

“When I think about Liz, I always have a smile on my face. What an amazing legacy. That’s what we’ve got to be thinking about today - her wonderfulness and a very funny actress.

“She took all the youngsters (on the show) under her wing. She was a lot cleverer than people thought she was, in regards to acting. She was brilliant. She was very humble in that respect.

“I used to live very close to her and she was always inviting us round to the house. We used to have a laugh. She was the one you could go to for advice.”

He added that watching her and Bill Tarmey as a double act was “comedy gold and British comedy and British writing at it’s best”.
He ended saying:

“I can only smile when I think of Liz. I can’t think of a better epitaph.

“It is very sad but what she’s left behind her is invaluable.”

More tributes from co-stars

Adam Rickett, who played Nick Tilsley on Corrie, Sue Cleaver, who plays Eileen Grimshaw, and Les Dennis, who played Michael Rodwell, have paid their respects.


'As warm as Betty's Hotpot' - Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pays tribute

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has paid tribute to lifelong party supporter Liz.

Tracy Brabin pays tribute to 'working class warrior' Liz Dawn

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, who worked with Liz on Coronation Street, told the Examiner:

“She was full of Yorkshire spirit - a true working class warrior, a real champion and an icon of the show.

“The work she did with Bill (on-screen husband Jack Duckworth) - the chemistry between them was wonderful.

“It was so easy to work with her. She was so open and humble.

“The work she did as mayor in her community, with her family and extended family, and at St James’s Hospital, was incredible.

“You couldn’t not give if she asked you - her charm overwhelmed you!

“She was an amazing woman and she will be much missed.”

In 2000, Liz was chosen as the Lady Mayoress of Leeds.

Nikki Sanderson remembers Liz Dawn's 'fun, love and happiness'

Soap star Nikki Sanderson, who played Candice Stowe in Corrie, has paid tribute to Liz.



Coronation Street director pays tribute

'Hilarious company and extremely dedicated'

Mark Bickerton, who was a story editor at Coronation Street for 20 years, wrote this on his blog.

It’s with great sadness that I hear that Liz has died. Perhaps portentously, I’d been scribbling notes in my diary about meeting with a TV director and our discussions on what makes a good character and what makes good story – then I wake to hear that one of the greatest soap opera characters of all time has passed away. I say characters deliberately – of course it’s the actress who’s died, but in recalling moments that I was lucky enough to share with Liz, at work and at leisure, I’m bound to say that she was a character too.


At work she was hilarious company and extremely dedicated to the part of Vera Duckworth, whom she played brilliantly for many years. At leisure, she was great fun to be with and if I may say so a terrific flirt – I’ll spare the detail but she once flirted with me in The Grapes in Manchester, and tried to pair me off with her daughter! How often have I dined out on that story?!


But returning to the part of Vera, what a part to play and how wonderfully-storylined and written! I have so many happy and laughter-filled memories of Jack and Vera, their sparring, their blazing rows and their tender moments that demonstrated the heart and truth of a couple the likes of which are found in terraced streets up and down the country.


The fact that Liz and Bill Tarmey played them with such brilliance made us nudge each other and say “they’re just like that couple across the road”… or indeed “they’re just like you and me.”


I’m often accused of being over-nostalgic in terms of Coronation Street, the show I was brought up on and lucky enough to serve for twenty years, but to my dying day I’ll adhere to the principle that the programme must thrive with characters like Jack and Vera at its very heart.


So while Liz has sadly passed, and will I like to think be joining Bill in heaven, I know in my heart that her legacy will live on, her voice will for ever echo down the cobbles, and the many rich stories will stay with those of us who remember, till we also shuffle off this mortal coil.


Liz Dawn, our Vera, ciao, Mark.

More tributes from co-stars

Jannie McAlpine, who plays Fiz, has told Loose Women that Liz was ‘so down to earth’ and that it was an honour to work with her.


Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Battersby, shared this lovely picture as she paid tribute to ‘our Vera’.

Liz Dawn's personal life

Liz Dawn, who was born in Leeds in 1939, previously told The Mirror how a horrific childhood accident almost ruined her acting career before it began.


Aged just eight, she was skipping through the city’s streets when she fell to the ground and landed face-first on an upturned brick. The fall ripped skin from her face and left part of her top lip missing.


Her dad rushed her to Leeds General Infirmary where a doctor said an operation would leave her with a harelip – an opening in the upper lip which can extend to the base of the nostril.


But, in an incredible twist of fate, the medic then discovered a plastic surgeon was passing through the city and could see Liz at nearby St James’s Hospital.


The surgeon grafted skin from Liz’s arm and bottom and she spent a week in hospital before being allowed to go home. Within weeks, her scars had healed and the procedure was deemed a success.


Aged 18, Dawn married her first husband, Walter. They had a son, Graham, in 1958 but a year later she was divorced and back to living at home. She was 21.


She married her second husband Donald Ibbertson, an electrician, in January 1965. Their first daughter, Dawn Elizabeth, was born two months later. Ann-Marie and Julie quickly followed.


In 2004, Liz was sadly diagnosed with emphysema, an incurable lung disease brought on by a history of smoking.


Coronation Street announced that her character, who at one point ran the Rovers Return pub, was to be written out in 2007 as Liz chose to concentrate on receiving treatment in Manchester for her illness.


After leaving the street, Liz became an ambassador for the British Lung Foundation and has spoken out the smoking culture that she saw during the beginning of her rise to stardom.


Liz also became a pub landlady in real life, when she owned The Old Grapes in Manchester city centre. The pub was a stone’s throw from the Granada Studios where Coronation Street was filmed and was popular with members of the cast, as well as other local celebrities and footballers. It closed in 2016.


She died at the age of 77.

'Ta-ra chuck'

Former Play School presenter Derek Griffiths, who recently played mechanic Freddie Smith on Corrie, has said a fond farewell.



More tributes from the world of entertainment




Andrew Whyment pays tribute

Andrew Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland on the soap, has joined in the chorus of tributes to his former co-star.



'There will never be another Vera Duckworth'

Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster on Corrie, has paid tribute to ‘beautiful, kind, inspirational’ Liz.



Tracy Brabin tells of Liz Dawn's 'big heart'

The MP talks about some of her memories of Liz.

Tributes from co-stars

From one Rovers’ favourite to another...






Our very own Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin, who played Tricia Armstrong in Corrie for a number of years, has fond memories of working with Liz.


Although best known for Corrie, Liz had a one-off appearance in Emmerdale, which is filmed in the Yorkshire Dales. She played B&B guest Mrs Winterbottom in 2015.

One of the Dingles has paid tribute as well.

From nightclub singer to soap icon

Liz Dawn was born in Leeds in 1939 and started her career in showbiz as a nightclub singer. That led her into acting, and after few appearances in adverts, she landed small, often non-speaking roles on a few TV shows, including Open All Hours, Z Cars and All Creatures Great and Small.

She first appeared in Coronation Street in 1974 and soon cemented herself as a firm favourite with soap fans all over the world.

'A true Coronation Street legend'

A statement has also been issued by Coronation Street:

It is with the greatest sadness that we have learned our beloved Liz Dawn has passed away last night. Her family at Coronation Street are heartbroken.

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 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.”

Family announces the sad news

Very sad news this morning that Liz Dawn has died.

Her family announced the news with this statement:

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.

FORMER CORONATION STREET ACTRESS LIZ DAWN(Image: Sunday Mirror)

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