Emmerdale and Coronation Street actress Meg Johnson has died peacefully at the age of 86.
Best known for playing Pearl Ladderbanks on ITV soap Emmerdale from 2003 to 2020, the actress died on Saturday, July 1, following a battle with dementia.
The show’s team, along with Johnson’s family, released a joint statement to Twitter announcing her death.
“It is with great sadness that we announce that actress Meg Johnson passed away peacefully yesterday evening surrounded by her family,” the statement read.
“Meg was a kind and wonderful lady, full of warmth and always with a twinkle in her eye. Meg had an outstanding career that ended with her playing Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale from 2003.
“Meg had dementia for the last few years, but battled on personally and professionally regardless. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.”
The English actress had a career that spanned over almost six decades, making her a familiar face.
TV soap operas were Johnson’s forte, the actress playing characters such as Eunice Gee in Coronation Street and Brigid McKenna in Brookside.
Television wasn’t the only form of entertainment Johnson was versed in; she also appeared in musical theatre productions, including Chicago and Follies.
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Co-stars and friends were quick to express their heartbreak at the loss of a “loved soul”.
Johnson’s Emmerdale co-stars were the last to work with her, and shared heartfelt tributes.
“Sending so much love to the @emmerdale family and family of the late and great Meg Johnson,” former co-star Gemma Oaten tweeted.
“A beautiful woman inside and out, who was always so kind to me during my #Emmerdale days.”
Fellow actress Lisa Riley said Johnson taught her “discipline, respect, comedy, and how not to take life to (sic) seriously”
“You are the true meaning of the words-wonderful woman. your energy lives on, because you were so very special. R.I.P. Meg.!” she added.
While fan favourite Danny Miller, best known for playing Aaron Dingle in the show, reminisced about the actress’ hilarious habit of saying “pig’s bum” upon forgetting a line, Michelle Hardwick noted Johnson was “absolutely one of a kind.”
“A talented, funny, warm lady who everyone adored. I’m so very grateful I got to spend so much time with her,” Hardwick added.
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