Bill's son Carl was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2009 - a key reason behind his decision to retire from Coronation Street the following year.
The actor who played the lovable rogue Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street for more than 30 years died today in Tenerife.
ITV News Correspondent Nina Nannar looks back at the life of Bill Tarmey on and off the Street.
Bill Tarmey was was always self-effacing about his acting abilities. In his autobiography, Jack Duckworth And Me, he wrote:
I'm just a pillock who comes into a studio to say some words that some other clever person has written.
For years, I'd managed to get away with it, but I'd always been waiting for the bubble to burst.
So sorry to hear that Bill Tarmey( coronation Streets Jack Duckworth) has died.Being a Coronation Street fan he gave us such a lot of fun.
Bill Tarmey will always be remembered for creating one of soap's most iconic characters, Jack Duckworth.
RIP Bill Tarmey, Corrie's Jack Duckworth. Interviewed him several times when I was a hack; he was always genial, never abrasive. Decent man.
Read more tributes to Bill Tarmey from the Coronation Street cast, and watch a compilation of his finest moments as Jack Duckworth, by following the link below.
The actor who plays Coronation Street's longest-standing character Ken Barlow has said that Bill Tarmey always projected his warmth onto his character Jack.
William Roach said Bill "wasn't brilliant" at remembering his lines, but that when he delivered them it was "just perfection".
It includes the memorable episode in which Jack arrives for blind date only to discover that the mystery woman is his wife Vera, pictured above.
The actress who played Vera Duckworth - the battle-axe wife of Bill Tarmey's character Jack - has said Bill was "part of my family".
Liz Dawn said: "When you work with someone for so long, as we did, it becomes more than just work.
"Our families were close and I am devastated for Ali and his family. I am totally bereft.
"He will always be remembered by everyone he came into contact with because he was such a kind and generous man."
A look back at Bill Tarmey's life before and after he walked down the famous pebbles of Coronation Street.Read the full story ›
The executive producer of Coronation Street Kieran Roberts has said that Bill Tarmey's character Jack Duckworth was "right up there" among the greatest legends of the soap.