Coronation Street and Doctors star Anita Carey dies aged 75

Anita Carey, from Yorkshire, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Credit: ITV

Coronation Street and Doctors star Anita Carey has died aged 75, her agent has confirmed.

The TV comedy actress, from Yorkshire, turned to soap acting in 1978 when she was offered the role of Brenda Summers, a victim of domestic violence, on Coronation Street.

She returned to the cobbles 18 years later to play Joyce Smedley, the debt-laden mother of Judy Mallett.

On Monday, agent Katie Threlfall confirmed Ms Carey had died at the age of 75.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.

Ms Carey, from Halifax, was the first to film her exit from the ITV soap in 1997, amid a series of action-packed farewells following a headline-hitting “cast cull” by new producer Brian Park in a bid to boost viewing figures, it was reported at the time.

In 1990 she returned to sitcom starring in A Kind Of Living, before returning to soap in 2007, playing Vivien March on BBC One’s Doctors for two years.

Former Doctors director Steve Hughes, who worked on the show between 2005 and 2010, said on X, formerly Twitter: "Sad to hear that Anita Carey has passed.

"I really enjoyed working with her on Doctors back in the day."

Meanwhile, Doctors writer Roland Moore wrote: "Saddened to hear about Anita Carey.

"She was a joy to write for as Vivien on Doctors and it was great to meet her once at the soap awards."

Ms Carey established herself in TV comedy playing Susan Chambers in Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? in 1973, the same year she met fellow actor Mark Wing-Davey while she was playing Miss Heasman in the touring theatre show Butley.

A year later the couple both appeared in a Crucible Theatre production of The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, before Carey starred in the West End production of Hobson’s Choice.

They married in 2002 and share two children, Zanna and Isabella.

Ms Carey also starred in John Finch’s drama The Spoils Of War playing character Martha Blaze, before appearing as devoted wife of a Labour MP Joyce Gould in ITV’s 1986 adaptation of Jeffrey Archer’s novel First Among Equals.

Ms Carey took on countless TV character roles before moving to New York after Wing-Davey, who she married in 2002 and had become a successful director in the US, became chairman of the graduate acting programme at New York University in 2008.

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