Stars have paid tribute to Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride who died in a Manchester hospital yesterday after a secret battle with cancer.
Anne, who rose to fame from her portrayal of Deirdre Barlow, passed away after suffering from a ‘short-term illness’ — she was 60.
David Beckett, husband to the Coronation Street Icon, confirmed just after 9pm that his wife had passed.
Kirean Roberts, executive producer of Coronation Street, said: “There are no words to describe the sense of grief we feel at Anne’s passing.
“We know only too acutely how much Anne meant to the millions of people who watched her create the legendary character of Deirdre Barlow.
“She will be greatly missed by the Coronation Street team who share happy memories of working with her. We feel blessed and honoured to have known her. Our thoughts are with David and their family.”
Celebrities took to Twitter to shine a light onto the Oldham born actress’s sterling soap career.
OMG RIP Anne Kirkbride (Dierdre Barlow) So young to leave us
— Duncan Bannatyne (@DuncanBannatyne) January 19, 2015
God bless Anne Kirkbride xxxx pic.twitter.com/BtJ83b94dG
— Agnes Brown (@AgnesBrownTV) January 19, 2015
So very sad to hear the news of Anne Kirkbride passing away. Grew up with Corrie,she was an absolute TV legend. Thoughts with her family xxx
— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaLibertyX) January 19, 2015
Very sad news about Anne kirkbride amazing actress another treasure lost to angels love and respect to her friends and family
— Cheryl Fergison (@cherylfergison1) January 19, 2015
RIP Anne Kirkbride. Part of the fabric of many lives for a long long time!
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) January 19, 2015
Sad sad news about Anne Kirkbride- A Coronation Street Legend. Soaps wouldn’t be around if wasn’t for people like Anne. God Bless. X
— Natalie Cassidy (@Nat_Cassidy) January 19, 2015
Anne Kirkbride first stepped foot onto the cobbles in 1972. Throughout her 42-year career on the street, the famously husky-voiced actress fronted many of the soap’s most notable story lines.
From her whirlwind marriage to Ken Barlow, her infamous stint in jail and her turbulent relationships with her children, Anne Kirkbride made a name for herself through her unique delivery and her love for those oversized glasses.
William Roache, who played Anne’s onscreen husband Ken Barlow, said: “I feel Anne’s loss so personally having worked closely with her for over 40 years.
“She was such a loving and vibrant person. You always knew she was there because her laugh was never far away.
“She was an impeccable performer with superb comedy timing and an immense gift for really heightened drama.
“We had some rows over the years as Ken and Deirdre and it was wonderful to play those scenes opposite her.
“Coronation Street has lost one of its iconic characters and Anne will be greatly missed.”
ITV Director of Television, Peter Fincham, said: “Anne has been a truly loyal servant to Coronation Street since joining the programme in the early 1970s.
“She created a unique and unforgettable character in Deirdre Barlow and she’ll be greatly missed on and off screen.
“Our sincerest condolences to Anne’s husband David and her family at this very sad time.”
The former actress who joined the street at just 18, was last seen on the Weatherfield set last October before she left before her stepson’s, Peter Barlow, murder trail.
Coronation Street’s creator Tony Warren also paid his respects, he said: “Anne was very easy to love. Her talent over the years made a massive contribution to Coronation Street.”
Image courtesy of CoronationStreetYouTube, with thanks.