Former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell has lost her battle with cancer at the age of just 55.
She was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer three years ago.
Her manager announced the sad news, explaining: “It is with the deepest sadness that Leah Bracknell’s family confirm that Leah passed away in September, three years after her diagnosis with stage 4 lung cancer.”
“They would like to thank all the public for their support and generosity which contributed to the extension and quality of her life over the past three years.
“Leah continued to embrace life and faced her illness with positivity. Many aspects of her journey can be found on her blog.
“Leah was best known and much loved as Zoe Tate in Emmerdale.
“She also had roles in Judge John Deed, A Touch of Frost, The Royal Today and DCI Banks to name just a few, as well as numerous appearances on stage and in pantomime.
“As well as acting, Leah was also an accomplished yoga teacher and shamanic healer.
“Leah had an energy and enthusiasm for life, a kind heart and much love to give to those around her.
“Her family have asked for privacy at this very sad time.”
Leah starred in the soap as Zoe Tate from 1993 to 2005 and was part of the Tate family.
Paying tribute, John Whiston, MD of Continuing Drama & Head of ITV in the North, said: “Everyone on Emmerdale is very sad to hear of the death of Leah Bracknell.
“Leah was a hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast for over 16 years.
“During that time she featured in some of the show’s most high profile and explosive plots and always delivered a pitch perfect performance.
“Zoe Tate was one of soap’s first lesbian characters and Leah made sure the character was both exciting and credible.
“Leah herself was a very generous and caring colleague, much loved by cast and crew alike.”
Leave your tributes for Leah Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.