Coronation Street icon Liz Dawn has died, the actress's family confirmed in a statement on Tuesday (26 September).
The star, best known for playing Vera Duckworth for 34 years, passed away peacefully at her home on Monday night after a long battle with lung condition emphysema.
"We are devastated and heartbroken at the passing of our much-loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother, the incredible Liz Dawn.
"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."
Born Sylvia Butterfield, Dawn join the soap in 1974 and was a recurring character for some time before her husband Jack Duckworth, played by Bill Tarmey, was introduced.
The beloved Corrie couple became firm favourites in soapland thanks to their undeniable chemistry and genuine friendship. She was written out of the show in 2008 due to her deteriorating health but returned in 2010 for a one-off appearance for the final scenes of her on-screen husband.
In a touching tribute show bosses described Dawn as"true Coronation Street legend".
"Her family at Coronation Street are heartbroken," the statement read. "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, a former heavy smoker, suffered from the lung condition emphysema for several years. News of her death comes just two weeks after she was rushed to hospital with severe breathing problems.
"If it wasn't for the doctors, I wouldn't be here today," she recently said of her health issues. "My health is very bad these days. I just have to get on with things."
She is survived by her husband Donald Ibberston and four children.