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Emmerdale actress Shirley Stelfox has died

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Emmerdale actress Shirley Stelfox has died

'Emmerdale' actress Shirley Stelfox has died.

The 74-year-old star - who has played Edna Birch on the ITV soap for 15 years - has passed away following a short battle with cancer.

Her agent announced this morning (08.12.15) that she died at home with her daughter Helena by her side.

John Whiston - who is managing director of continuing drama and ITV North - said: "The family here at 'Emmerdale' are deeply saddened by Shirley's passing, it is hard to imagine the show 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."

In addition to her role in 'Emmerdale', Shirley also starred as Hyacinth Bucket's sister Rose in 'Keeping Up Appearances' and had lead parts in 'Common as Muck' and 'Civvies'.

After training at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), she appeared in a number of West End productions and made her screen debut in the film 'Hobson's Choice' aged 12.

Before landing the role of Edna, she also made in appearances in 'Coronation Street', 'EastEnders' and Brookside.

And she starred alongside John Hurt in the film '1984' and Julie Walters in 'Personal Services'.

Shirley was married to the actor Don Henderson from 1979 until he passed away in 1997.