Actress Jean Alexander has died at the age of 90, her family have said.
The Liverpool native was best known for playing Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street and Auntie Wainwright in Last of the Summer Wine.
Her family said she went into hospital after feeling ill earlier this week but was discharged after a couple of days and allowed to return to her nursing home.
Sonia Hearld, Alexander's niece paid tribute to her aunt and said she had continued to enjoy a celebrity status long after her stints on the famous cobbled Street and the long-running sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine.
“People used to stop her just to say hello and how much they missed her,” Mrs Hearld said.
“She was always very good to her fans - she said 'they put me where I am'.”
Alexander brought a lot of her own personality to her role, Mrs Hearld added.
“Certainly with Hilda, the fact she was such a downtrodden person but just got on with it. She just touched a chord with people.”
“She did bring a lot of herself to the role but she was a different person, a private person. They were amalgams of people she had met, people she had observed and people she knew. She was very observant about people.
“Privately, she was great fun and had a great sense of humour.
“She was very glamorous - I remember when I was about four or five seeing her get ready for an evening, wearing really pretty clothes and high heels. She occasionally let me traipse around the house in them.
“She was a good role model and she had a drive that carried her through.”
On social media, the same fans paid tribute to her:
Alexander’s first appearance in Coronation Street was in 1962, when she briefly played a landlady.
In 1964, she began the role of Hilda Ogden, which she continued for more than twenty years, retiring in 1987.
Almost 20 years after that, she was still so fondly remembered that she was voted the nation's favourite soap star.
After winning the poll, she said: “It's unbelievable that people are still so fond of Hilda.
“We had so many wonderful individual characters when I was in the show, Ena Sharples and Elsie Tanner come to mind, so to be picked out from amongst that crew is very, very flattering.”
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In 1985, she was awarded the Royal Television Society’s Best Performance Award for her the role and was nominated for a Bafta three years later.
Also in 1988, she made her first appearance in Last of the Summer Wine and stayed with the series until 2010.
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