Deirdre Barlow: Coronation Street actor Anne Kirkbride dies aged 60
Coronation Street actor Anne Kirkbride, who played Deirdre Barlow in the soap, has died aged 60.
Anne passed away this evening after a short illness.
A statement on the Coronation Street website read: "It is with great sadness that David Beckett has confirmed tonight that his beloved wife and Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride has passed away peacefully in a Manchester hospital after a short illness.
"David and the programme's cast and crew are heartbroken and deeply saddened at the loss of Anne who has been a Coronation Street icon for 44 years."
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."
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.”
Anne is survived by her husband, David, her brother John, and his family.
Colleagues and other celebrities have expressed their grief at the soap veteran's death.
Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria in Coronation Street, tweeted: "#RIP to a wonderful unforgettable lady.. Anne Kirkbride . We will miss you so very much x"
Debbie Rush, who plays Anna, said: "So sad. We'll miss you so much Annie x #jellytots #sheknows xxx"
Adam Rickitt, who played Nick Tilsley, said: "Just heard..so gutted. Annie..u were pure class..a smile always when needed and a hug always from the heart #ripannekirkbride #annekirkbride
Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton said: "I'm really shocked #AnneKirkbride, Deirdre Barlow has passed away. Such a tv legend, RIP x"
Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale in Eastenders, tweeted: "Such sad news about Anne Kirkbride. My thoughts are with her family and all the Corrie cast and crew."
Former Emmerdale star Adele Silva said: "Such sad news about #AnneKirkbride #CoronationStreet RIP"
Television presenter Lorraine Kelly tweeted: "So very sad to hear of death of Anne Kirkbride - Thoughts with her husband and family and everyone who loved her. Corrie legend."
Comedian Paddy McGuinness posted a photograph of a pair of spectacles, seemingly paying tribute to Deirdre Barlow's signature style, tweeting: "Anne Kirkbride RIP. A part of our lives whether you knew her or not. She created such an iconic character."
Alan Halsall, who plays Tyrone in Coronation Street, said: "Rip Annie beautiful woman inside & out xxx #devastated #corriefamily"
Nikki Sanderson, who now stars in Hollyoaks but previously acted in Coronation Street, described Kirkbride as "phenomenal".
She tweeted: "My thoughts &prayers go out 2all who knew the phenomenal Anne Kirkbride, I am honoured 2have known&worked with u #RIP"
Former Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan posted an emoticon of a broken heart, adding: "So so sad. Devastating news. Love you Annie. The nation is now in mourning..."
Beverley Callard, who plays Liz McDonald, tweeted: "My beautiful darling friend, Anne Kirkbride, passed away in a room filled with love. God Bless, my Darling Girl! Peace and rest!"
Shona McGarty, who plays Whitney Dean in Eastenders, tweeted: "I am saddened to hear of Anne Kirkbride's passing. I pray for her family and friends to have strength at this sad time... #ripAnneKirkbride"
Former X Factor winner Sam Bailey said: "So sad to hear the news about Anne kirkbride x RIP honey xx heaven has gained another talented angel x".
Belfast Telegraph Digital