Tony Haygarth dead: Emmerdale star who appeared in The Bill and Chicken Run dies aged 72

Tony Haygarth in 'Where The Heart Is': Rex
Tony Haygarth in 'Where The Heart Is': Rex

Tony Haygarth, who starred in TV shows and films including Emmerdale, The Bill and Chicken Run, has died aged 72.

The Liverpool-born actor appeared in more than 30 films during his 45-year acting career and established himself on TV in shows including Where The Heart Is and I, Claudius.

He voiced the hen-pecked Mr Tweedy in the award-winning Chicken Run in 2000 and played Mick Naylor on Emmerdale from 2008 to 2009.

Haygarth, a father of two, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014 and would later develop vascular dementia.

His wife Carole Winter confirmed the news and said that he "passed away peacefully" on Saturday at his home in Kent.

"Tony Haygarth: loving father to Katie & Becky, my greatest support, actor of extraordinary talent RIP 1945 - 2017," she wrote.

Tributes for the actor were paid by his friends and colleagues.

Comedian Les Dennis said: "So very sad to hear the wonderful Tony Haygarth has died."

English actor Tony Robinson wrote: "Tony Haygarth, a gentle man, and a fine and subtle actor. So sad for his family. RIP."

Haygarth's daughter Becky added: "Rest in Peace my wonderful father. My hero, my friend, my ultimate inspiration."