It is with great sadness that we today announce the death of legendary Coronation Street actress Betty Driver at the age of 91.
Betty died peacefully in hospital in the early hours of Saturday 15 Oct. She had been in hospital for six weeks.
Betty played the role of Rovers barmaid Betty Turpin/Williams for 42 years- after being persuaded to come out of retirement in 1969.
She will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her.
Barbara Knox who plays Rita, said: "I have lost a very dear friend and the Street has lost a very great character, a professional to her fingertips - she will be greatly missed."
Katherine Kelly, who plays Becky, said: "Our Betty - the true and constant Queen of the Rovers. The most famous street in the KIngdom will never be the same now you are gone, but those sparkling eyes and cheeky laugh will live with me forever."
Antony Cotton, who plays Sean, said: "Today is a very sad day.I am devastated we've lost our Betty. She was one of the funniest people I've ever met and definitely the kindest. I will miss her so much. Her star shone bright and long. sweet dreams, duck."
Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts said: "Betty was a wonderful actress and remarkable woman. It is humbling to think that the 42 years she spent on Coronation Street was just half of her extraordinary career but Coronation Street certainly benefited when she decided to join our show in 1969. For more than four decades she delighted many millions of Coronation Street fans with her fantastic performance in countless great stories both dramatic and comic. Betty was always a delight to work with and whilst there is a great sadness at her passing away Betty will be remembered by everyone on Coronation Street with tremendous admiration and affection."
Betty had originally auditioned for the role of Hilda Ogden in 1964 after a career on radio, television and the stage spanning 36 years.
She first tread the boards at the tender age of 8 - forced by her mother to perform with a theatre company and by the age of 10 was singing with the BBC.
She went on to have a varied career including working in the West End and the world famous Ealing Studios before becoming a big band singer and entertaining the troops during the second world war.
Roles in various television shows followed but once she got the role in Coronation Street Betty quickly became a favourite behind the bar of the Rovers Return - Betty's hotpot is an iconic dish but was never eaten by Betty herself as she didn't eat meat.
She was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Millenium New Year's Honours list on December 31st 1999.
Betty appeared in more than 2800 episodes of Coronation Street.
Following the sad news Corrie Producer Phil Collinson told This Morning that there will be a: "brilliant and magnificant send off" for Betty in a future episode.