Actress Liz Dawn, who plays Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street, is to leave the soap due to ill health.
Ms Dawn, who has played her character for the past 34 years, will leave the ITV show before Christmas.
The 68-year-old actress has the lung disease emphysema and, according to the News of the World, has told Granada she is too sick to continue.
She said she wanted to "thank everyone" for "the best time of my life" during her years in the popular soap.
Producers would not say how Ms Dawn is to be written out of her £200,000 role, but said she would continue to make guest appearances on the show.
Her character's husband Jack, played by Bill Tarmey, will remain in the soap.
She said: "It's been an amazing 34 years. I'd like to thank everyone for what has been the best time of my life."
Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts said: "After 34 years as Vera, Liz has taken a decision to relax and enjoy her retirement.
"We're currently devising storylines for her character's departure for Weatherfield but we would prefer not to reveal details at this moment.
"We're indebted to her for all she has achieved during her years as Vera Duckworth. She is a star and is loved by ITV.
"We will always miss this wonderful lady and first-rate actress and we are delighted that she's agreed to return to the soap in the future."