Coronation Street actor Dilys Watling has died, aged 78.
The TV star, who appeared in comedy shows The Two Ronnies and Morecambe & Wise, played Merle Baker in the ITV soap during its first decade on air.
Watling, who was described as a “trailblazer” by her family, died “peacefully” on 10 August after suffering from a long illness.
The actor performed on Broadway in 1970, playing Georgy in a production of Georgy. She received a Tony Award nomination for the role.
In 1964, Watling released the single “Don’t Say You Love Me”, which made it into the UK charts.
She was the sibling of Doctor Who star Deborah Watling and Clacton MP Giles Watling, who said: “Dilys was a much-loved sister and was the eldest of the five of us.”
He added: “She was eccentric in many ways, but was always incredibly generous, warm and loving. In her last few days, she recounted stories of her life that we thought she had long-since forgotten.”
Watling was once married to Line of Duty actor Owen Teale, but the pair had the marriage annulled.
Her final TV role was in a 1994 episode of Minder.
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