Emmerdale Actress Shirley Stelfox Dies

Emmerdale Actress Shirley Stelfox Dies

Emmerdale actress Shirley Stelfox has died aged 74 after a short battle with cancer.

Her death was confirmed in a statement from Associated International Management which said she passed away peacefully on Monday at home with her daughter by her side.

The actress was best known for her role as Edna Birch in the soap, which she played for 15 years.

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 trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and starred in numerous TV shows.

She was the first Rose in Keeping Up Appearances and also starred in The Bill, Coronation Street and Crossroads.

Her film credits included a role opposite Sir John Hurt in the movie adaptation of George Orwell's novel 1984. She also starred alongside Julie Walters in Personal Services.

She had a successful theatre career, with her stage work including Not Now, Darling, Toad Of Toad Hall and Cavalcade at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

She was married to actor Don Henderson from 1979 until he died in 1997.