Bill Tarmey, the actor who for more than 30 years played Jack Duckworth in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street, has died, it has been announced.
In the Radio Times, a statement from Tarmey's family said, “The family of Bill Tarmey have confirmed that he sadly passed away this morning in Tenerife. They have respectfully asked the media for privacy as they grieve for a wonderful husband, father and brother.” He was 71.
Meanwhile, according to BBC News, a statement from the makers of Coronation Street said the cast and crew were devastated by the news, and added, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill's wife and soulmate Ali and their family at this very sad time."
Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully in the soap, was one of the first to respond to the news. He posted on his Twitter account, saying, "Goodnight Bill. You were the best. We'll miss you so much x."
Tarmey joined Coronation Street in 1979. He and long-time Corrie co-star Liz Dawn played two of the show’s most popular characters – the husband-and-wife team, Jack and Vera Duckworth. Sadly, Dawn was forced to quit the show in 2008 due to ill health. Her character was killed off, dying peacefully in her living-room armchair. Tarmey left the series two years later, in November 2010, his character dying in the same chair.
In 2010, Simon and Schuster published Tarmey's autobiography, Jack Duckworth and Me: My Life on the Street and Other Adventures.