English comic actor Roy Barraclough, who performed as Alec Gilroy landlord of Rovers Return in Coronation Street, has passed away at the age of 81.
Julie Goodyear, who always appeared with late Barraclough on the ITV soap, was the first to pay tributes; she was “devastated” when she learnt the death of her “dearest friend”.
Barraclough’s long career
Barraclough was famous for portraying gossiping housewives Cassie and Ada with his long-time partner Les Dawson.
His debut was on the Corrie cobbles in 1964, where he performed as a tour guide and was given the role of Alec Gilroy in the early 1970s.
Then, he entered his biggest contract with soap in 1986, portraying alongside Bet. Since then the couple played their roles for a long time in the Rovers Return.
Co starts paying tribute
Goodyear, who portrayed Barraclough’s on-screen wife for several years on TV said: “I have no words to describe how devastated I feel.
“We kept in close touch and spoke to each other at least two or three times every week.
“I will treasure all the happy times we had working and laughing together. We were just like a married couple, crazy, I know, but true.
“Rest in peace Roy. I will always love you.”
Beverley Callard, who starred as Liz McDonald in the soap, said she will always owe Barraclough.
She said: “Along with Julie Goodyear, Bill Tarmey and Betty Driver, he taught me everything about this job. He almost got me sacked many times because he made me laugh so much.
“It was a joy to be in his company. He was one of the funniest people I knew and he had the biggest heart. I feel honoured to have known and worked with him. He will be sadly missed.”
Barraclough launched his career as a comedian and pianist at an Isle of Wight holiday camp, then he joined the Huddersfield Repertory Company and he headed his way to Oldham’s Coliseum Theatre company.