Jean Alexander, who played Coronation Street’s Hilda Ogden and Auntie Wainwright in Last of the Summer Wine, has died aged 90.
Alexander portrayed Hilda Ogden, a put-upon housewife who was one of Coronation Street’s best known characters, from 1964-1987.
She appeared as shopkeeper Auntie Wainwright, which she described as the “absolute favourite part” of her television career, for 22 years.
She died in hospital on Friday.
She had been admitted to Southport hospital, Merseyside, for tests but was discharged after a couple of days and allowed to return to her nursing home, her niece Sonia Hearld said.
But on Tuesday the actress was readmitted to hospital, where she later died peacefully on Friday.
Mrs Hearld, of Selby, North Yorkshire, said: “My aunt died sadly earlier today.”
Prior to her role as Hilda, Alexander had a brief appearance in Coronation Street in 1962 as a landlady who rented a room to a disturbed young woman.
Eighteen months later Alexander started her role as Hilda, forming a comedy double act with her on-screen husband, Stan, who was played by Bernard Youens.
After Youens died in 1984 Stan’s character was written out.
Following Stan’s death, a scene in the soap showed Hilda silently unwrapping a parcel of his belongings and breaking down when she opened his glasses case.
Alexander left the soap three years later.
She later joined Last of the Summer Wine in 1988 as the junk shop owner Auntie Wainwright, a role she would play for 22 years.
But Hilda Ogden was the character she remained best known for.
In 2005 a TV Times poll voted her the nation’s favourite soap character.