‘Emmerdale’ and ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ actress Shirley Stelfox has died, aged 74

Prolific actress passed away yesterday following a short battle with cancer

Emmerdale actress Shirley Stelfox has died following a short battle with cancer.

The actress, who had played Edna Birch on the ITV soap for the last 15 years, passed away on Monday (December 7), her agent confirmed.

Cheshire-born Stelfox began her acting career in the 1960s and racked up numerous film and TV credits over the next five decades. She was the original Rose in classic BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances and made guest appearances in shows including The Bill, Inspector Morse, Heartbeat, EastEnders and Brookside.

She also appeared with Victoria Wood and Julie Walters in Wood’s popular 1994 TV film Pat And Margaret and starred opposite Walters in the 1987 British comedy movie Personal Services.

Emmerdale‘s executive producer said in a statement: “The family here at Emmerdale are deeply saddened by Shirley’s passing, it is hard to imagine Emmerdale 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.”

Stelfox’s husband, fellow actor Don Henderson, whom she married in 1979, passed away in 1997. Kathy Burke, who appeared opposite Stelfox in the mid-1990s BBC comedy-drama series Common As Muck, paid her respects to the late actress on Twitter earlier today.