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Tributes pour in for ex-Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell, who has died at the age of 55

She lost her battle with cancer

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Friends, family and fans have been paying tribute to ex-Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell, who has died at the tragically young age of 55.

Leah, who played Zoe Tate in the ITV soap, was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer three years ago and shared her journey thereafter with her followers.

Leah Bracknell played Zoe Tate in Emmerdale (Credit: ITV)
Leah played Zoe Tate in Emmerdale (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Ex-Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell dies aged 55

Today (October 16), 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 Bracknell on This Morning
Leah Bracknell on This Morning to talk about her cancer journey (Credit: ITV)

The statement continued: “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 was very open about her battle with cancer (Credit: Twitter @LeahBracknell)
Leah was very open about her battle with cancer (Credit: Twitter @LeahBracknell)

Emmerdale was on of the first to send their condolences, tweeting: “Everyone on Emmerdale is very sad to hear of the death of Leah Bracknell.

“She was a hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast for over 16 years. Leah was a very generous and caring colleague, much loved by cast and crew alike. #Emmerdale.”

Former co-star Lisa Riley added: “God bless you Leah. A true angel to work with. You lost your battle far far too young. R.I.P. Heaven gains an angel of the truest form.”

God bless you Leah. A true angel to work with.

Coronation Street actress Sally Ann Matthews also added: “So sorry to hear that the beautiful soul, Leah Bracknell, has lost her battle with cancer. The world has lost a little sparkle.”

So sad to hear the amazing and kind Leah Bracknell has passed away,” wrote Kelli Hollis. “I had a great time when I worked with her on Emmerdale 16 years ago. And we stayed in touch ever since. Very sad day now she’s gone.”

Leah starred in the soap as Zoe Tate from 1993 to 2005 and was part of the Tate family.

Leah as Zoe Tate, with her on-screen family (Credit: ITV)

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.”

To leave your condolences for Leah, visit our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

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