Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:51 UK

Soap stars mourn Emmerdale actor

Clive Hornby
Clive Hornby was a stalwart of the long-running series

Emmerdale cast members have joined the family of soap star Clive Hornby at his funeral in Leeds.

The actor, who had played cloth-capped farmer Jack Sugden in the ITV1 soap since 1980, died earlier this month at the age of 63.

Elizabeth Estensen, who plays his on-screen wife Diane, read a eulogy at the service at Rawdon Crematorium.

Also present to pay his respects was Kelvin Fletcher, who plays Hornby's on-screen son Andy Sugden.

Former stars of the ITV1 soap, including Claire King and Malandra Burrows, were also in attendance.

Hornby's son Tom also paid an emotional tribute at the service, recalling the times he spent with his father.

He told mourners: "He was my best friend, whom I trusted and respect."

Flat cap

Ms Estensen told the congregation of the bravery with which the actor faced his illness.

She described how he endured great pain but told only a small number of people he was not well while he was still working.

"The thought of Tom kept him going," she said.

Hornby's last scenes were shown in February but the actor, who began his career as a musician, had been determined to beat a mystery illness and return to work.

Hornby joined the cast in 1980, when the series was still called Emmerdale Farm. He took over the role of Jack Sudgen, son of soap matriarch Annie, from Andrew Burt.

He was initially offered a three-month contract, but ended up becoming the longest-serving cast member in the soap's history.

Hornby's character still wore the same flat cap that he had been given when he joined the series.

He said of his time on the show: "I can't believe I'm still here sometimes.

"Some of the kids in the show weren't even born when I started. But I love it. I must be a survivor because 28 years is a long time to survive in a soap. I can't imagine leaving."

Emmerdale actor Hornby dies at 63
04 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Clive Hornby
04 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
In pictures: Emmerdale's Clive Hornby
04 Jul 08 |  In Pictures

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