ITV statement in full as Emmerdale star Steve Halliwell dies aged 77

ITV has announced soap legend Steve Halliwell who played iconic Emmerdale character Zak Dingle has died. The star appeared in the show from 1994 up until his death.

His family also paid tribute to the actor in the statement issued on Friday afternoon. Born in Bury in 1946, Steve trained at the Mountview Theatre School in the town after working as an engineer in cotton and paper mills.

During his career he also appeared in Cracker, Heartbeat and Coronation Street before taken on the role as the patriarch of the notorious Dingle family.

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ITV statement in full

It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that Emmerdale can confirm that Steve Halliwell, our beloved Zak Dingle, has peacefully passed away.

All our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones through this very difficult time, and we’d request that their privacy is respected as they grieve for his loss.

Steve will forever be synonymous with Emmerdale. The proud defender and head of the Dingle family. Heart and humour in all he did, it has been and always will be impossible not to smile when you think of him.

Steve’s family said: “He went to sleep, peacefully with his loved ones around him. He was making us laugh to the end, the most amazing father and grandfather you could ever wish for, family was everything to him. We would like to thank the wonderful staff at St James Hospital and the Wheatfield Hospice for their love and kindness in his final days. He didn’t want sadness, just to rejoice in a life well lived.”

Quote from John Whiston Managing Director of Continuing Drama & Head of ITV in the North, said: “Steve Halliwell was one of those rare human beings who was as wonderful off screen as on. To millions of Emmerdale viewers he was the brawny but crafty Dingle patriarch who led the clan with a strong fist and a warm heart.

“To everyone who worked on Emmerdale he was a much-loved friend and colleague, the undoubted father of the show, but also its fun mischievous uncle. We will miss him enormously.”

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