Former "Coronation Street" actor Roy Barraclough has died at the age of 81.
The Lancashire-born star, who is best known for playing Rovers Return landlord Alec Gilroy in the long-running ITV soap, passed away on Thursday (01.06.17) following a short illness, his agent has confirmed.
In a statement, Gavin Barker Associates said: "Our client Roy Barraclough has passed away today aged 81 after a short illness."
Barraclough, who was awarded an MBE for services to drama and charity in 2006, first appeared in "Coronation Street" in 1964, before he joined the soap on a permanent basis in 1986.
Julie Goodyear, who played his on-screen wife Bet Lynch, has led the tributes to the comedic actor, saying she will "treasure" the times they spent together.
Julie explained in a statement: "My dearest friend Roy Barraclough has passed away at 6am this morning.
"I have no words to describe how devastated I feel. We kept in close touch and spoke to each other at least two or three times every week.
"I will treasure all the happy times we had working and laughing together. We were just like a married couple, crazy, I know, but true."
Barraclough was also known for his partnership with Les Dawson, starring alongside the TV icon as one half of the gossip-loving northern housewives Cissie and Ada.
The comedy creation was a big hit on British TV in the 1970s and 80s, and Charlotte Dawson, Les" daughter, has paid her condolences on Twitter.
She wrote: "I'm devastated. At least you get to be reunited with my daddy."
During his lengthy career, Barraclough also appeared in a 2016 revival of the sitcom "Are You Being Served?", as well as "Last of the Summer Wine", "Casualty" and a stage production of the Arthur Miller play "Death of a Salesman".