JEAN ALEXANDER, the former Coronation Street actress who played Hilda Ogden in the soap for more than 20 years, becoming one of the nation’s most loved television stars, has died at the age of 90.
Alexander, who also starred in Last of the Summer Wine, passed away in the hospital peacefully on Friday October 14 having been briefly admitted and discharged on Tuesday.
I saw her last week when we went to see her in hospital. She was feeling a little bit poorly but she was talking to me and my husband quite happily,” her niece Sonia Hearld said.
“There was nothing telling us anything was wrong – she was just generally weak and under the weather. We have not had the details.”
Her sharp-tongued housewife was to many the soap’s most iconic character, even inspiring the founding of the British League for Hilda Ogden.
Long-suffering, put upon and furiously proud, the glamorous Alexander made Ogden’s role her own for 23 years until 1987, using her own experience growing up in Liverpool in the 1930s to shape the character and continuously smashing stereotypes while she was at it.
Born Jean Hodgkinson in 1926 she worked as a library assistant in the city before her acting career took off, beginning with a brief appearance in the soap in 1962.
Decades later half the nation watched as she played her final scene at the Rovers Return having brought tear, laughter, smiles and strength to millions across Britain.