Emmerdale actor Steve Halliwell, who played Zak Dingle, has died aged 77.
The actor first appeared in the serial drama in October 1994.
His family said in a statement that he “made us laugh till the end” and died “peacefully with his loved ones around him”.
The statement from ITV said: “It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that Emmerdale can confirm that Steve Halliwell, our beloved Zak Dingle, has passed away peacefully.
“All our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones during this very difficult time and we would ask that their privacy be respected as they mourn his loss.
“Steve will forever be synonymous with Emmerdale. The proud defender and head of the Dingle family. Heart and humor in everything he did, it has been and always will be impossible not to smile when you think of him.”
Halliwell’s family said: “He went to sleep peacefully with his loved ones around him.
“He made us laugh till 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 Wheatfield Hospice for their love and kindness in his final days. He didn’t want sadness, just to rejoice in a life well lived.”
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