In the soap, which launched in 1980, Lesley played villager Sheila Ramsay in the fictional Scottish setting of Glendarroch.
“We are sorry to hear of the passing of Lesley Fitz-Simons who will be fondly remembered by the many fans of Take the High Road as the character, Sheila Ramsay, whom she played for 18 years.
“High Road remains one of the UK’s longest-running drama series and Lesley’s contribution to its success was significant.” Says Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of channels at STV.
Appearing as Sheila for 18-years the actress survived many changes to the show which included a ‘modernising’ revamp leading to the name change of High Road and a more upbeat version of the theme tune. While ITV dropped the series in 1993, it remained on STV for a further decade, and several ITV regions opted in to screening episodes at their own discretion – including on Border Television, Central and UTV where the series remained popular viewing for a number of years after the ITV network axe fell.
Lesley remained in Scotland after the soaps demise living in East Dunbartonshire. STV state the actress had been battling breast cancer since 2009 and died on January 26th.
Episodes of Take the High Road and High Road can be seen, for free, on STV’s YouTube Channel here.