Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Obituary: Coronation Street's Maggie Jones

Maggie Jones
Maggie Jones made the role of Blanche her own in the last decade

Coronation Street star Maggie Jones, best known for her role in the soap as acid-tongued Blanche Hunt, has died at the age of 75.

The character, known for her cutting comments and frank remarks, has become a firm favourite with dedicated Corrie fans.

Yorkshire-born Jones' first TV appearance, after graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada), was in the ITV1 soap in 1961.

Her break into television came after playing a long line of theatrical roles in the West End and around the country.

She played a policewoman in one episode - before that she had performed in various plays, including Pride and Prejudice and The Women, in London's West End.

Comedy performance

Several years after her brief debut appearance in Weatherfield, Jones returned, this time as a drunken shoplifter.

It was not until 1974 that she landed the job as Deirdre's mother Blanche, replacing Patricia Cutts, who was originally cast in the role and took her own life after just two episodes.

She remained a regular until 1976 and returned several times for short periods, including for the birth of granddaughter Tracy.

Jones went on to appear in other TV favourites such as The Barchester Chronicles, The Beiderbecke Tapes, Sharon and Elsie, We'll Think Of Something, The Nesbitts Are Coming and Lovely Couple, alongside Pauline Quirke.

She also appeared in the video to the Mike and the Mechanics song The Living Years.

After guest appearances in shows such as Dalziel and Pascoe, Goodnight Sweetheart, Heartbeat and Peak Practice in the 1990s, she reprised her role as Blanche in 1996.

Jones became a regular cast member again in 1999 and remained in the show until October 2009 when she was written out to undergo major surgery.

Often seen propping up the bar in the Rovers Return, Blanche saved her most withering comments for corner shop owner Norris Cole and son-in-law Ken Barlow.

In 2005 and 2008, the actress won a British Soap Award for best comedy performance in a British soap.



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