Coronation Street actor Mark Eden has died at the age of 92, his agent has said.
He was best known for playing Alan Bradley in the ITV soap and is survived by his wife and co-star Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts.
A statement to the PA news agency said: “We are very sad to announce the death of actor Mark Eden.
“He died peacefully, in hospital, earlier today, January 1 2021.
“Mark had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for some time, and was hospitalised in November.
“Mark, 92, had a long career spanning more than 50 years, including eight years in Coronation Street as character Alan Bradley.
“He is survived by his wife Sue, his daughter Polly, his stepson Saul, and granddaughter Emma. We ask that their privacy be respected at this very difficult time.”
Born Douglas John Malin, Eden’s first screen credit was in 1958 with a role in Quatermass And The Pit.
He later acted in the 1965 film Doctor Zhivago, starring Julie Christie and Omar Sharif, Doctor Who and The Avengers.
He also appeared in London Belongs To Me and Crown Court.
His run in Coronation Street ended after his character was killed by a Blackpool tram and Eden later unveiled a plaque at the tram stop where the scene was filmed.
Later in his career he appeared in Doctors and Casualty, with his last screen credit in 2013 in the TV movie An Adventure In Space And Time.
John Whiston, managing director of continuing drama and head of ITV Studios in the North, paid tribute to Eden.
He said in a statement: “We are all hugely saddened to hear of the death of Mark Eden. The character he played, Alan Bradley, made a real impact in the three years he was in the show, embarking on a reign of terror and clashing with just about every other character in Coronation Street.
“He was a consummate actor and played the role of psychotic villain to a tee, making the character both chilling and credible. The show owes Mark a great deal as he set the template for all the great villains to come, from Hillman and Phelan to our latest baddie, Geoff Metcalfe.
“It’s a fantastic dramatic legacy. Our thoughts go out to Sue and their family and friends at this sad time.”
Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Jenny Bradley in Coronation Street, paid tribute to her on-screen father.
She said in a post on Instagram: “I loved this man so much. Thank you for being the most wonderful TV Dad, teacher and friend. DLP always Xxx”
A message on the official Twitter account of Coronation Street said: “We are all hugely saddened to hear that Mark Eden passed away peacefully, in hospital, earlier today.
“Our love and thoughts go out to Sue and their family and friends at this time.”
Actor and screenwriter Mark Gatiss recalled casting Eden In An Adventure In Space And Time, a dramatised account of how Doctor Who was brought to the screen in the 1960s.
He said on Twitter: “Very sad to hear that Mark Eden has passed away. A joy to cast him in ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ and he spoke so fondly of ‘Marco Polo’. He also came to see ‘The Boys in the Band’ in Manchester with his lovely wife Sue Nicholls. A gentleman and a very fine actor.”
Actor Lee Boardman said: “Mark Eden. A lovely man and BY A MILE the best Corrie baddie of all time. Rest in peace, my friend. Love and condolences to Sue.”