Steve Halliwell as Zak Dingle on Emmerdale against logo and background (Credit: ITV/Composite: ED!)

Lisa Riley leads Emmerdale cast tributes as Zak Dingle star Steve Halliwell dies

Tributes have begun to flood in for the much-loved actor

The cast of Emmerdale have begun to pay loving tribute to actor Steve Halliwell, following the sad news of his death today. Steve, aged 77, played soap icon Zak Dingle for almost forty years.

It was reported today (Friday, December 12) that Steve had passed away, surrounded by family, after a stint in hospital. Following the actor’s death, both ITV bosses and his co-stars on the soap have paid tribute.

Steve Halliwell in Emmerdale as Zak Dingle
Steve played Zak Dingle for almost forty years (Credit: ITV)

Emmerdale cast pay tribute following death of star Steve Halliwell

Following the sad news, many of Steve’s co-stars from the show have begun to pay tribute.

“My dearest Steve….love you so much. You are now finally at peace. Thank you for years of laughter, you were still laughing right up to the end. Adored, loved, respected by us all, a LEGEND in my eyes that’s for sure – we have stories and memories to last for many more years to come. Sleep well Stevie – our prayers of strength go to Charlotte, Val and Angelina at this really difficult time…our extended family.

“That boy from Bury did good,” wrote  Lisa Riley, who plays Mandy Dingle on the soap.

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“We’ll miss you Steve,” said Danny Miller, who plays Aaron Dingle. “Rest well my friend.”

“What a man and what a legacy. So many incredible memories. We had some fun. God Bless,” said Kelvin Fletcher, who played Andy Sugden on the soap.

“A wonderful man, will be greatly missed. Thinking of his family at this sad time, rest in peace Steve,” said Vanessa Woodfield actress Michelle Hardwick.

“Rest in peace Steve, such an amazing man,” wrote Amelia Flanagan, who currently plays young April Windsor.

“So sad, he was such a lovely man! Rest in peace,” commented Natalie Ann Jamieson, who plays Amy Wyatt.

Tributes continue to flood in to the actor and Emmerdale icon, from c0-stars and fans alike.

Zak and his family on Emmerdale
The actor had a long and storied history on the soap (Credit: ITV)

Emmerdale star Steve Halliwell passes away aged 77

Steve’s sad passing was announced by his family and ITV bosses on Emmerdale’s official Instagram account today. A statement from Steve’s family said:

“He went to sleep, peacefully with his loved ones around him. He was making us laugh to the end, the most amazing father and grandfather you could ever wish for, family was everything to him. We would like to thank the wonderful staff at St James Hospital and the Wheatfield Hospice for their love and kindness in his final days. He didn’t want sadness, just to rejoice in a life well lived.”

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Meanwhile, ITV boss John Whiston wrote:

“Steve Halliwell was one of those rare human beings who was as wonderful off screen as on. To millions of Emmerdale viewers he was the brawny but crafty Dingle patriarch who led the clan with a strong fist and a warm heart. To everyone who worked on Emmerdale he was a much loved friend and colleague, the undoubted father of the show, but also its fun mischievous uncle. We will miss him enormously.”

Read more: Complete Emmerdale cast list 2023 – meet them all here!

Emmerdale - Zak Proposes to Lisa

Emmerdale usually airs on weekdays at 7.30pm, with an hour long episode on Thursdays.

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Joel Harley
Freelance Writer