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Coronation Street star John Savident dies aged 86

The actor John Savident, best known for playing Fred Elliott in Coronation Street, has died aged 86, his agent has said.

A statement from his agent to the PA news agency said: “We are sad to announce the death of the actor John Savident who died on Wednesday 21 February, he was a much-loved husband and father of two and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

In 1994, Savident arrived on the Coronation Street cobbles and quickly became a fan favourite.

His storylines involved his disastrous love life, including three marriages and several failed proposals.

Classic Coronation Street – John Savident as Fred Elliott and Sue Nicholls as Audrey Roberts

A secret son, Ashley Peacock (Steven Arnold), also arrived on the show and the two later developed a close bond as they worked as butchers together.

Savident’s character was killed off in 2006, suffering a stroke on the day he was supposed to marry Bev Unwin (Susie Blake).

Elliott’s death also saw Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) confess that she still loved him following her turning down his proposal of marriage years previously.

The butcher’s previous wives also included Maureen Holdsworth (Sherrie Hewson) and barmaid Eve Sykes (Melanie Kilburn).

John Savident as Fred Elliott with his on-screen Corrie bride Eve Sykes, played by Melanie Kilburn

Outside Coronation Street, Guernsey-born Savident was in the political comedy series Yes, Minister, Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian thriller A Clockwork Orange, the biopic Gandhi, the war film The Battle of Britain, the science fiction series Doctor Who and the period dramas The Remains of the Day and Middlemarch.

He was in the first staging of the musical The Phantom of the Opera in October 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Haymarket, London, as the opera house owner Monsieur Firmin.

He returned to play the character in 2011 for the Royal Albert Hall concert film.

After leaving his soap work, Savident appeared on stage in productions of the panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Harold Brighouse’s Hobson’s Choice.

Savident was married to the theatre director Rona Hopkinson and they had two children.

Source: Press Association

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