Family of Liz Dawn are 'devastated and heartbroken' over the star's passing

Credit: PA images

Liz Dawn, the actress who played Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street, has sadly died aged 77.

The Leeds born star passed away peacefully at her home last night after a long battle with emphysema.

In a statement her family said they were devastated:

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.

– Liz Dawn's family.

Liz made her name as the argumentative Vera Duckworth, a much-loved character in Coronation Street and one of the longest-serving members of the cast.

With screen husband, Jack (played by Bill Tarmey), they became one of the soap world's most popular - and quarrelsome - couples.

Dawn first set foot on the cobbles as a factory worker in 1974 .

She was on the soap for 34 years, until her character was written out of the ITV show in 2008 at the actress's request.

The episode in which her character died peacefully in her sleep in her armchair was seen by more than 12 million viewers.

She returned for a one-off appearance as Vera's ghost in 2010 for Tarmey's final scenes.

She later said of life in a soap: "It does take over your life.

"People don't realise. They think you've had a charmed life. They don't see that you've brought up four children and learnt lines on the train."

Dawn had four children and was married twice - to miner Walter Bradley in 1957, with whom she had her first child, and to electrician Donald Ibbertson in 1965.

Our correspondent Rob Smith has this report:

Stars from the show have also taken to social media to express their sadness over the news:

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A statement from 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 34years, 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.”

– Coronation Street