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Coronation Street star Johnny Briggs dies aged 85

Johnny Briggs

Actor Johnny Briggs, who played Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street for 30 years, has died aged 85.

His family said he had died peacefully after “a long illness, with family by his side” and asked for privacy to “remember the wonderful times we had with him”.

Briggs was made a MBE in the New Year’s Honours in 2006, the year his character was killed off from the ITV soap.

He also appeared on stage and in films alongside the likes of Norman Wisdom.

Born on 5 September 1935 in Battersea, in south-west London, Briggs was evacuated to the countryside during World War II before embarking on a career in show business back in London at the age of 12.

After a break for two years of service in Germany with the Royal Tank Regiment, starting in 1953, he resumed his acting career landing roles in several Carry On films and ITV police drama No Hiding Place.

It was not until 1976 that he landed his defining role as Mike Baldwin.

As the uncompromising businessman in the soap he feuded with Ken Barlow after having an affair with his wife Deirdre.

Later, Baldwin would die in his rival’s arms after suffering a heart attack, finally killing off the character after three decades.

The demise of Baldwin drew 12 million viewers and followed the character’s battle with Alzheimer’s – leading the actor to back a fundraising appeal to help those affected by the disease.

In 1995 Briggs had a UK chart hit, alongside Coronation Street co-star Amanda Barrie, with a version of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s Something Stupid.

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BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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