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Coronation Street's Jean Alexander dies

Press Association logoPress Association 15/10/2016

Former Coronation Street actress Jean Alexander, once voted Britain's greatest soap star, has died three days after turning 90.

Alexander, who played the much-loved Hilda Ogden between 1964 and 1987, passed away in hospital on Friday.

Her family said she had recently undergone tests and was readmitted on her birthday after "feeling a little bit poorly".

As news of her death emerged stars of Coronation Street paid tribute, describing her as a "legend".

Sally Dynevor, whose character Sally Webster appeared alongside Hilda in the late 1980s, described her co-star as a "wonderful woman and such an amazing and talented actress".

Liverpool-born Alexander won the nation's heart with her turn as the pinny-wearing, sharp-tongued cleaning lady who was rarely seen without a set of tightly-wound hair curlers.

Fans tuned in in vast numbers to watch her daily battle to get her inept husband, Stan, out of the Rovers Return and into work.

Sir Laurence Olivier was among her followers and a host of famous faces including Sir Michael Parkinson, writer Willis Hall, former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman and Russell Harty also formed themselves into the British League for Hilda Ogden.

When Alexander decided to leave Weatherfield in 1987, nearly 30 million people reportedly watched her farewell episode.

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