Vera Duckworth

Coronation Street royalty, actress Liz Dawn, dies aged 77

Dawn was famous for playing Vera Duckworth in the long-running soap for 34 years.

itv 50th Doug Peters / PA Images Doug Peters / PA Images / PA Images

ACTRESS LIZ DAWN, one of British TV’s best-known faces, has died, her family has confirmed.

The actress died peacefully in her sleep aged 77.

Dawn became a household name in Britain for her performance as the irascible, but lovable, factory worker Vera for 34 years from 1974.

JackDuckworthTribute / YouTube

She and her husband, the long-suffering Jack Duckworth (who didn’t actually appear in the show until 1979), served up some of the long-running soap’s best-known storylines, not least their eternal tribulations in dealing with ne-er-do-well son Terry.

Liz Dawn death (l to r) Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth), actor Neville Buswell, Liz Dawn, pictured in 1997 PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

“We are devastated and heartbroken at the passing of our much-loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great grandmother, the incredible Liz Dawn,” a statement from her family read.

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.”

Coronation Street issued a statement describing its “great sadness” at Dawn’s passing:

“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,” it read.

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.

Dawn (real name Sylvia Butterfield) was born in Leeds in 1939.

She appeared in a number of UK television programmes before making her bow as Vera in 1974.

Dawn was diagnosed with emphysema in 2004 but continued to work on Coronation Street for a further four years, before her character passed away in her sleep in 2008.

The episode featuring Vera’s death attracted more than 12 million viewers.

She made one further appearance as Vera in 2010 when her character returned in a sequence showing her onscreen husband Jack’s (played by Bill Tarmey, who himself died in 2012 aged 71) death, which culminated in the pair sharing one final, emotional dance.

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