Stars bid farewell to 'Corrie' legend Bill Tarmey

Tuesday November 27, 2012

Stars and fans of Coronation Street have paid their last respects to soap legend Bill Tarmey.

The actor was famed for his role as Jack Duckworth, the pigeon-loving rogue who remained in Wetherfield for more than three decades.

As one of TV's most recognisable faces, Bill's character Jack was known for being the long-suffering husband of battle-axe wife Vera. The actor died aged 71 on holiday in Tenerife.

The former builder dreamed of becoming a singing star and was making a living as a crooner in working men's clubs before joining Coronation Street in 1977 as an extra to supplement his earnings.

Bill landed the role of Jack Duckworth two years later and despite his modesty about his acting ability, a Street legend was born, to the extent he did not leave the show until 31 years later.

His funeral will take place in his home town of Ashton-under-Lyne, on the outskirts of east Manchester where he grew up in humble circumstances after his father was killed in the Second World War.

Bill married his childhood sweetheart Alison - to whom he remained married for 50 years - and they had two children.

A heavy smoker, he underwent a quadruple heart bypass in 1986, and then another bypass operation in June 2002 but he long refused to give up smoking.

Jack Duckworth went on to be written out of the Street in 2010, a year after he had originally considered leaving, but he was persuaded to hang on a little longer with the aim of continuing until the show's 50th anniversary.

Image: © Getty

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