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Coronation Street legend Jean Alexander's family reveal her poignant final words

Mirror logo Mirror 20/12/2016 Mark Jefferies

Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty Coronation Street legend Jean Alexander told her family she was proud of her career, joking it was “not bad for a poor girl from Liverpool” before she died. 

The actress, known to millions as loveable battleaxe Hilda Ogden, is sorely missed by family and fans, but her last words have given comfort.

Her older brother Ken Hodgkinson said: “Jean’s death came on suddenly. It was very hard to cope with it all.

“I still can’t get my head around it. The comforting thing is she was happy with what she had done.

Credits: Collect Unknown © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Collect Unknown “She said, ‘I’ve achieved what I wanted to do’. And she said: ‘It’s not bad for a poor girl from Liverpool, is it?’”

Jean died three days after turning 90 in October. She was a regular in the Rovers Return from 1964 until 1987 as cleaner Hilda. 

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: PA Though Ken said she honed her acting skills with Shakespeare while growing up.

He said: “When she was a girl at school she got very interested in drama, especially words.

"She and a friend of hers, they read the whole of Shakespeare’s plays when they were about 15, taking alternate speeches.

Credits: ITV © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: ITV “She wasn’t aiming to be famous. She just wanted to work at it, to act and have the opportunity to do it.”

Ken speaks in ITV tribute Hilda Ogden’s Last Ta-Ra tomorrow, in which Corrie cast and crew talk about Jean and her character while sat in a recreation of Hilda’s old living room.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

An emotional Michael Le Vell, whose character Kevin Webster lived with her, said: “I had a few years working with the best. And she was the best.”

Bill Roache, who played Ken Barlow, added of her character: “She typified the Street – downtrodden but not giving up; always wanting to do the best but always failing, so your heart was always with her. She was a superb actress.”

Jean’s death led to a national outpouring of grief. Niece Val Thewlis said: “It was lovely to think that so many people thought so much of her and she will be so sadly missed – not just by us for who she was, but by everybody for what she created.”

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