Rodney Litchfield, Coronation Street and Early Doors star, dead aged 81

Rodney Litchfield, Wilf Morton actor in Coronation Street and star of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, has died at the aged of 81.

The Wigan born actor died on Saturday, with writer and long-time friend Phil Mealey confirming the news on Twitter.

Mealey, who wrote Early Doors in which Rodney stars, said in his statement: ‘Really sad news that Rodney Lichfield aka Old Tommy passed away peacefully in his sleep Saturday aged 81, having been poorly for some time.

‘We were blessed to meet and cast him as he was absolutely perfect.

‘To you Rodders and To The Regiment it won’t be the same without you. RIP x’

Among those remembering him was his Early Doors co-star Christine Bottomley, who wrote: ‘Sorry to [hear] one of our Earlydoors family has left the building x (sic) will watch me some outtakes tonight I think and remember our dear friend #RodneyLitchfield#OldTommy will miss you mate x’

Over the course of his career, Rodney starred in some of the most defining UK comedies ever, appearing in Phoenix Night’s as Wild Bill, Early Doors, Shameless, My Family and Last Of The Summer Wine.

However, his most prominent role was in Corrie, starring as Wilf Morton in 2007.

Wilf was the grandfather of Jodie Morton (Samantha Seager), and a habitual wheeler-dealer who was always fast on a get rich quick scheme.

The character faked his death after submitting his own obituary to the local paper, causing Deibre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) and mum Blanche (Maggie Jones).

He also had a flirty relationship with Blanche, with the pair often clashing like an old married couple.

Rodney also made a short-lived appearances in Emmerdale, and made his TV debut on Brookside back in 1984.

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