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Coronation Street actress dies aged 77

The legendary Coronation Street actress who played Vera Duckworth passes away after long battle with emphysema

In a statement, the 77-year-old's family said the actress died peacefully at home with relatives around her on Monday night.

It read: "We are devastated and heartbroken at the passing of our much-loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great grandmother, the incredible Liz Dawn.

"She has been the love, light and inspiration in our lives and we are bereft at her passing."

Dawn first appeared in ITV's Coronation Street in 1974, before returning as a regular two years later.

The actress went on to star in more than 6,700 episodes as Vera Duckworth and husband Jack, played by Bill Tarmey, became two of Coronation Street's best-loved characters.

Dawn was diagnosed with emphysema in 2004 and left the soap four years later in an episode which attracted more than 12.5m viewers.

She returned to make a cameo appearance in 2010, as Jack Duckworth saw a vision of his wife before passing away.

During her career, Dawn was honoured with an MBE for charity work and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 British Soap Awards.

ITV said Coronation Street stars were "heartbroken" over the 77-year-old's death.

It added: "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."

Former Coronation Street actress Tracy Brabin described Dawn as "warm hearted, generous and hilarious".

Ms Brabin, now MP for Batley and Spen, said: "Working with Liz and Bill (Tarmey) was a highlight of my time at Corrie."

Co-star Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts, tweeted: "Liz Dawn made me laugh every time I was was with her, that will be my everlasting memory of her."

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