Coronation Street actors have been paying tribute to former co-star Liz Dawn who died yesterday.
Liz played Weatherfield icon Vera Duckworth between 1974-2008, with a special one-off appearance in 2010. The actress decided to retire from performing in 2007 due to the incurable lung disease emphysema making life on set difficult.
Vera was killed off in 2008, but returned as ‘a ghost’ in 2010 when screen husband Jack – played by the late Bill Tarmey – was also sent to soap opera heaven.
Below is a selection of tributes from some of those who worked with Liz on the cobbles:
“Such sad news regarding the passing of Liz Dawn. I send my sincere condolences to her family. RIP Liz. My love.” – Julie Goodyear MBE (Bet Gilroy)
“Liz was an amazing woman. She achieved so much in her life through her role in Coronation Street and her charity work. 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.” – Sally Dynevor (Sally Webster)
“If ever there was an actress that I wanted to be like most, it would be Liz Dawn. Every time we met she asked after everyone. She was genuinely interested in how everyone was doing. I’ll miss her asking how I am. She was loved by us all.” – Jennie McAlpine (Fiz Brown)
“Liz was a warm very funny lovely lady who loved everyone she worked with, it was a huge honour to work with her but more so know her as a friend. She touched the hearts of everyone she met and gave so much back with her charity work. She will be missed so much. Night god bless lovely liz xxxx” – Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald)
“Liz was a beautiful woman inside and out and a fantastic actress Vera will always be an iconic Coronation Street character RIP lovely lady x” – Andrew Whyment (Kirk Sutherland)
“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.” – Sally Ann Matthews (Jenny Bradley)
“Vera was one of the greatest characters Coronation Street has known, to the cast Liz Dawn was the kindest and gentlest of ladies. She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.” – Helen Worth (Gail Platt)
“I feel so lucky that I was able to work with dear Liz. Two minutes in her company on screen and off was a total joy. Bless you dear Lis, love and condolences to Don and your lovely family.” – Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts)
“I feel lucky that Liz has been in my life and to have called her a close friend. She has been a big part of my life for such a long time. She was one of the most funny, kind and genuine people I have ever known and I will miss her so much.” – Samia Longchambon (Maria Connor)
“I feel for Don and Liz’s family at this very sad time. The nation are also going to feel this too. Liz and Bill were the foundations on which Coronation Street has been built upon. They had an amazing connection between them as Jack and Vera. 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.” – Michael Le Vell (Kevin Webster)
“I’m devastated. Liz was a wonderful actress, a fascinating storyteller, a hilarious comedian and most importantly a brilliant friend. For many people of my generation, Jack and Vera WERE Coronation Street. I’m thinking about Don and all their family who Liz adored. A light had gone out in Weatherfield a few years ago, but now Manchester too, has lost a little of it’s sparkle…” – Anthony Cotton (Sean Tully)
“Liz was a darling of a person and the created one of my favourite characters of all time. She was one of the kindest people I have ever met and my thoughts are with her wonderful family. She will be sorely missed.” – Beverley Callard (Liz McDonald)
“It’s very sad that we have lost Liz Dawn , the biggest tribute I can give to her is simply at the mention of her name immediately makes me smile because she always did , love to Don and her family.” – Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts)
“Liz has been sorely missed since she left Coronation Street. She was a joy to work with and we all enjoyed scenes with her. You always ended up laughing as she had marvellous comic timing. God Bless her.” – Barbara Knox (Rita Sullivan)
Liz was born Sylvia Butterfield on the 8th of November 1939 in Leeds. The Yorkshire girl spent her early years not in show-business, but in a factory. Working from the age of 15 in the clothes making industry she later switched over to retail where she worked on the light bulb counter of Woolworths. Other early jobs included as a sales assistant in a shoe shop and in a cinema as an usherette.
The showbiz spotlight was turned onto Liz when she began working as a club singer, notably over in Scarborough and at a club next to the Butlins seaside holiday camp in Filey. It was during this time in the early 1960s she changed her name from Sylvia Butterfield to the name we all now know as the actress Liz Dawn.
She mostly took on extra work and minor roles before joining Corrie in 1974. Liz was cast as factory worker Vera who shared most of her early screen time with Ivy Tilsley – the late Lynne Perrie – and the legendary Elsie Tanner played by Pat Phoenix. She later became one half of an iconic TV partnership when Bill Tarmey joined the cast of the saga as Vera’s husband Jack.
The Duckworths, complete with wayward son Terry (Nigel Pivaro) gave ITV viewers some of Corrie’s most amusing, and in equal measure heartbreaking scenes.