Johnny Briggs, who played the role for 30 years on Coronation Street, has died at home. Tributes have been pouring in for the legendary actor following the news of his death.
In a statement his family 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.”
The cause of the actor’s death has not yet been announced but his family explained that he had been suffering from an illness.
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Johnny first joined the cast of Coronation Street in 1976 and went on to appear in 2,349 episodes before he left the show in 2006.
His character, Mike, had been suffering with Alzheimer’s for months and collapsed in the street after a heart attack, dying in the arms of Ken.
Tributes have flooded social media following the sad news of Johnny’s death.
Piers Morgan took to Twitter and wrote: “RIP Johnny Briggs, 85. Coronation Street legend who played rogueish Mike Baldwin for 30yrs. Great character on & off screen.”
A fan penned: “Sad to hear of the passing of actor Johnny Briggs famous for playing Mike Baldwin in coronation street after a long illness. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this heartbreaking time. RIP Johnny Briggs.”
Another person wrote: “His characters feud with Ken Barlow was brilliant, kept us all entertained for a over a generation…”
“RIP #JohnnyBriggs – a legend from the glory days of #Corrie, he made Mike Baldwin an unforgettable character,” a third fan penned.
Johnny is best remembered for his character Mike Baldwin’s rows with Ken Barlow (played by Bill Roache) on the ITV soap after he had an affair with his wife Deirdre, played by the late Anne Kirkbride.
The love triangle between Mike, Ken and Deidre continued for years on Coronation Street.
When an episode aired featuring Deirdre ending her relationship with Mike and returned to Ken it was became one of the soap’s highest rated installments.
It was such big news in the world of soaps that the drama was announced on the Old Trafford scoreboard during a Manchester United v Arsenal match at the time, with the words “Ken and Deirdre reunited. Ken 1 – Mike 0”.
Johnny left Coronation Street in 2006 and explained that he planned to spend more time with his family.