Emmerdale actress Shirley Stelfox dies after short cancer battle
Actress Shirley Stelfox, best known for her role as Edna Birch in Emmerdale, has died after a short illness.
The 74-year-old, who had starred on the ITV soap for the last 15 years, had been diagnosed with cancer.
ITV executive producer John Whiston said: "The family here at Emmerdale are deeply saddened by Shirley's passing, it is hard to imagine Emmerdale without her.
"We offer our condolences to Shirley's family and share our feeling of loss with the millions of viewers who will miss Edna enormously."
Stelfox also starred in The Bill, Coronation Street and Crossroads, and was the first Rose in Keeping Up Appearances.
Her film credits included a role opposite John Hurt in the movie adaptation of George Orwell's novel 1984.
Tributes to Stelfox on Twitter:
Devastated. RIP our darling Shirley Stelfox. You had me at "oh you're a cheeky arse. I like you!" God I love you ❤ pic.twitter.com/4OBiXwiKDh
— Gemma Oaten (@gemmaoaten) December 8, 2015
One of the greatest storytellers with a wicked laugh... Will miss you Shirley Stelfox ❤️
— Michelle Hardwick (@ChelleHardwick) December 8, 2015
So sad to hear of the passing of Shirley Stelfox. A fantastically, generous actress and a lovely lady with the most wicked sense of humour x
— Sally Ann Matthews (@SallyAnMatthews) December 8, 2015
Dear Shirley Stelfox RIP - a great trooper and a fabulous lady with a cackle of a laugh and the eye of a hawk. We will all miss you lots.
— Christopher Villiers (@Chris_Villiers) December 8, 2015
RIP Beautiful Shirley Stelfox seen here with love of her life Don Henderson ??? pic.twitter.com/y6aeTzF44q
— Kathy Burke (@KathyBurke) December 8, 2015