Coronation Street star Anne Kirkbride died last night after a short illness.
The actress, who played the much loved Deirdre Barlow in the soap, died at a Manchester hospital on Monday night, with ITV confirming the sad news in an emotional statement.
Anne had not been seen in the soap since last October after being given extended leave.
She was due to return after three months and only her loving husband David Beckett, 62, her family and and a few close friends, knew the real reason for her absence.
Anne was previously diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1993, but following successful treatment returned to the soap within 12 months.