Actor Bill Tarmey dies aged 71

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Actor Bill Tarmey, who played Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street for 31 years, has died at the age of 71.

According to a statement released by his family, he passed away yesterday morning in Tenerife.

Tarmey began his career as a nightclub singer before becoming an actor. He first played window cleaner Jack Duckworth in 1979 and was a regular on screen from 1983-2010, developing the role into one of the soap’s most popular characters.

A statement from the show’s producers said: “The cast, crew and production team at Coronation Street are devastated to hear of Bill's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill’s wife and soul mate Ali and their family at this very sad time”.

He had been suffering from ill health in recent years having suffered a heart attack in 1976 and a stroke the following year. In 1986 he underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery and suffered a second heart attack in 2002.

A full obituary will appear in a later edition of The Stage.