Veteran Coronation Street star Johnny Briggs — famous for playing Ken Barlow's rival Mike Baldwin — has died at the age of 85.
Briggs appeared in more than 2,000 episodes of Coronation Street over the course of 30 years, and was involved in many of the soap's most famous storylines.
In a statement, the actor's family confirmed that he passed away on Sunday morning after battling an illness.
They said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our father, Johnny Briggs. He passed away peacefully this morning after a long illness, with family by his side. He was 85.
“We politely ask for privacy at this time, so that we can quietly grieve as a family and remember the wonderful times we had with him. Thank you.”
Briggs joined the ITV soap as market trader turned clothing entrepreneur Mike Baldwin in 1976.
The womanising character embarked on a high-profile affair with Deirdre Barlow in the 1980s, but Deirdre ultimately chose to stay with husband Ken Barlow.
Mike was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2005 and died a year later in the arms of his former love rival Ken, having suffered a heart attack in the street.
Briggs briefly reprised the iconic role in 2012, appearing as a ghost as part of a special sketch for ITV charity fundraiser Text Santa.
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, Loose Women panellist Denise Welch were among those offering tributes to the star.
The official Coronation Street Twitter account wrote that Mike Baldwin was "one of the most iconic characters The Street has ever known".
RIP Johnny Briggs, 85.
Coronation Street legend who played rogueish Mike Baldwin for 30yrs. Great character on & off screen. pic.twitter.com/klr8CTLUa9
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 28, 2021
The whole Coronation Street family is deeply saddened by the death of Johnny Briggs.
In the role of Mike Baldwin, he truly was one of the most iconic characters The Street has ever known.
We wish Johnny's family all our condolences. pic.twitter.com/6aYuEaEXse
— Coronation Street (@itvcorrie) February 28, 2021
Farewell Johnny Briggs. So proud to have worked with such a legend ❤️❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/JuWkcUJf89
— Denise Welch (@RealDeniseWelch) February 28, 2021
Numerous Corrie actors also offered words of farewell to Briggs on social media, with Antony Cotton writing that everyone on the show "adored him" as "a complex character, on and off screen".
Les Dennis, Tracie Bennett, Jane Danson and Samia Longchambon were among the castmates who offered their own memories on Twitter.
Johnny Briggs was a complex character, on and off screen, and we all adored him. Feel lucky that I got the chance to work with him in the factory. I am, and will always be, a Baldwin’s Casual. Night night Mr Baldwin, I’ve left you a bottle of Scotch in the filing cabinet... pic.twitter.com/eyo7e9Km9r
— Antony Cotton (@antonycotton) February 28, 2021
So sad to hear that Johnny Briggs has died. A charming man and an excellent actor. Mike Baldwin was an iconic character. Thoughts with his family at this sad time. RIP.
— Les Dennis (@LesDennis) February 28, 2021
My Darling Johnny. I’ll see you when it’s time. We laughed a lot, naughtily. Thanks for being a friend and ridiculously kind in showing me the ropes when I was just starting out.
R.I.P. Johnny Briggs.
— @OfficialTracieBennett (@OfficialTracieB) February 28, 2021
So sorry to hear johnny Briggs has passed away. We did lots of sc’s together. I remember he tookthe battersby’s out for lunch on our first week filming - happy memories @itvcorrie xxx
— Jane Danson (@RealJaneDanson) February 28, 2021
#RestInPeace Johnny Briggs. Really sorry to hear the sad news. I have fond memories of working with Johnny, he was such a lovely man ♥️🙏
— Samia Longchambon (@realsamia) February 28, 2021
RIP Johnny Briggs.
What a wonderful actor he was. Lots of happy memories #JohnnyBriggs
— Sally Dynevor (@sallydynevor) February 28, 2021
Before he joined Corrie, Briggs appeared in numerous British comedy films throughout the 1960s, including Norman Wisdom comedy A Stitch in Time and several Carry On movies.
In his later years, he split his time between an apartment in Portishead, Somerset and a home in Florida.
Briggs was married twice and has six children. He was awarded an MBE in 2007.
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