Former much loved ‘Coronation Street’ actress Jean Alexander (Hilda Ogden); once voted Britain’s greatest soap star, has died three days after her 90th birthday.
Ms Alexander died yesterday, having been re-admitted to hospital on her birthday, after feeling unwell. Stars of Coronation Street have paid tribute to the actress, describing her as a “legend”.
Born in Liverpool; Ms Alexander won the hearts of TV viewers here in Ireland as the sharp-tongued cleaning lady. Rarely viewed without a set of tightly-wound plastic hair curlers hidden under a headscarf; saw vast numbers of her fans tuned in daily to watch her interaction to get her ineffectual spouse, Stan Ogden [Played by Bernard Youens (born Bernard Arthur Popley)], out of the pub and into work.
An estimated 30 million viewers watched her farewell episode, when she made her decision to leave Weatherfield in 1987.
Following her exit from ‘Coronation Street’ she became a mainstay of BBC sitcom ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’; playing the part of a somewhat eccentric bric-a-brac shop proprietor known as ‘Auntie Wainwright’.
In 2005 Ms Alexander was voted ‘the greatest soap opera star of all time’. Offers to memorialise her in a statue, Ms Alexander was reported as stating, “I just couldn’t see myself stood on a pedestal cast in bronze and knowing my luck, the Southport seagulls would find me and do their worst, as they have done before – usually when I have just washed my hair.”
It is understood that Ms Alexander suffered a stroke in 2014 and had been living in a nursing home prior to her death.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.