Tributes have been paid to Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn, who has died at the age of 77.
Dawn played the character of Vera Duckworth on the soap for more than 30 years.
Her death was announced by her family in a statement.
They said she died peacefully at home on Monday night, and remembered the actress as “the love, light and inspiration in our lives and we are bereft at her passing”.
The statement said: “We are devastated and heartbroken at the passing of our much-loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great grandmother, the incredible Liz Dawn.”
Actor Michael Le Vell also paid tribute, describing Dawn as the “matriarch” of the soap for youngsters.
Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster in the soap, added that she was a “mother figure who helped guide us through the show”.
He said: “For anyone young who joined the show, Liz was the matriarch. She took us under her wing and was the mother figure who helped guide us through the show. She did that for me. She’s going to be a big loss to us all.”
Dawn first appeared in Coronation Street in 1974 before her character moved into number nine along with husband Jack, played by the late Bill Tarmey.
After being diagnosed with emphysema, Dawn was written out of the soap in 2008 when Vera died in her sleep.
Two years later, she made a moving comeback as the much-loved Corrie resident.
Just before he passed away, Jack saw a vision of the wife who had spent years nagging him and they shared a last dance together.
In 2012, Tarmey died in Spain and Dawn described him as a “lovely man and a true gentleman”.
Speaking about her health on a celebrity version of the Jeremy Kyle Show in 2014, the actress revealed: “I take a lot of tablets. I just live every day and get on with it.”
She had four children and was married twice – to miner Walter Bradley in 1957, with whom she had her first child, and to electrician Donald Ibbertson in 1965.
The rest of the cast from the Cobbles joined Le Vell in paying tribute, with actress Sally Ann Matthews sharing a touching anecdote about Dawn’s kindness to her.
Matthews, who plays Jenny Bradley, said: “Liz was a wonderful actress and a fabulous lady. You always knew when she was in the building, she had a presence.
“When I bought my first home, Liz gave me some money to ‘buy something nice and stick it on the wall’. I bought a painting of The Lady of Shalott and think of her every time I look at it.”
Coronation Street’s Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster, said Dawn was an “amazing woman”.
She added: “She was such a giving person who always thought about other people before herself. She was an inspiration of how to be in life and I’m going to miss her.”
Beverley Callard, known to fans as Liz McDonald, said Dawn was “a darling of a person”. She added: “She was one of the kindest people I have ever met and my thoughts are with her wonderful family. She will be sorely missed.”