English actor Johnny Briggs has died after battling a long illness.
Acclaimed actor Johnny Briggs who starred in the long-running soap opera "Coronation Street" is no more. The late actor's family has confirmed that he passed away from a long illness. He was 85 at the time of his demise.
In a statement released by his family, it read:
"It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our father, Johnny Briggs. He passed away peacefully this morning after a long illness, with family by his side. He was 85. We politely ask for privacy at this time, so that we can quietly grieve as a family and remember the wonderful times we had with him."
Briggs portrayed Mike Baldwin's character for three decades from 1976 to 2006, appearing in 2,348 episodes altogether in the British soap opera. After playing the same character for such a long time as the British actor did, he decided to leave the show, citing a "hectic film schedule" and to spend more time with his family in 2005.
Johnny's character Baldwin was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and in the end, died in the arms of Ken Barlow after having a heart attack. In the final episode in "Coronation Street," more than 12 million tuned in to watch.
Johnny Briggs played Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street for thirty years. Photo Source: The Guardian
For his performance, Briggs received the British Soap Award for lifetime achievement in 2006 and was awarded an MBE the following year.
"Coronation Street" paid tribute to their former star in their official Twitter account. The late actor's "Coronation Street" co-star Jane Danson who played Leanne Battersby also expressed her sadness writing, "So sorry to hear Johnny Briggs has passed away. We did lots of sc's together. I remember he tookthe battersby's out for lunch on our first week filming - happy memories." Other "Coronation Street" former actors also paid their tributes to Johnny.
Coronation Street paid their tribute to their former actor Johnny Briggs. Photo Source: Coronation Street's Twitter (@itvcorrie)
A keen golfer, Johnny Briggs was born as John Ernest Briggs in Battersea, London, England. His first acting role was in the 1948 British film "Quartet." He served two years of national service with the Royal Tank Regiment in Germany.