ITV Emmerdale’s Danny Miller and Lisa Riley lead tributes to co-star Steve Halliwell after death at 77

A whole host of Emmerdale stars both past and present have shared their heartfelt tributes to the family of actor Stephen 'Steve' Halliwell following his death at the age of 77.

The soap star, who will be best known to fans for playing Zak Dingle in the soap for almost thirty years, sadly passed away earlier this week, with his family sharing the heartbreaking news in a statement released on Friday 15 December.

The actor'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."

They continued: “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.”

Immediately after the news was shared, countless fans and famous faces were quick to share their grief at his tragic passing, but in a poignant move, also to celebrate his life and their fond memories of working with him.

Among some of the most notable stars to pay tribute were his on-screen daughter, Lisa Riley who famously plays Mandy Dingle in the soap, who penned a heartfelt tribute to her friend on social media.

Lisa wrote: “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” #dingle #family #restinpeace #love #legend #memory #rip @emmerdale #emmerdale.”

There was also a tribute from Aaron Livesy actor Danny Miller, who dubbed Steve the “King of the Dingles” as he wrote: "From day one, he took me under his wing and helped guide me on and off set. He never failed to effortlessly make me and everyone else corpse with a simple look or grunt or 'mmmm EH?!'

"The King of the 'double takes' and the King of the Dingles. We'll miss you, mate. On and off set. Rest well, Steve, and leave one in the pump for me."

Michelle Hardwick, who plays vet Vanessa Woodfield in the soap, also shared a sweet message as she added: “A wonderful man, will be greatly missed. Thinking of his family at this sad time, rest in peace Steve.”

Rachael Gill-Davis, who plays Gail Loman in the soap was also devastated by the news as she added: ”Like many, I knew him as Uncle Zak but from what I’ve heard Steve was not only a talented actor but a terrific man. My thoughts and condolences are with all his friends and family.”

Meanwhile, James Hooton who played Steve’s on-screen son Sam Dingle, shared a poignant memory of his co-star as he emotionally wrote on X, "A soap icon and a great friend has passed away today! Steve Halliwell was the first person I met when I walked through the door into the Emmerdale studios and we remained friends until the end!

"A truly loved character and a strong proud man, RIP Steve you will be sadly missed.”

Matthew Wolfenden, who recently bowed out of the soap as David Metcalfe also reflected fondly on his time working with Steve, as he wrote: “One of the funniest, silliest, kindest people I have ever had the honour to share a scene with! You will be missed my friend.”

There were also plenty of tributes from former Emmerdale stars too, including Kelvin Fletcher who famously played Andy Sugden on the soap, as he wrote: “What a man and what a legacy. So many incredible memories. We had some fun. God Bless.”

Before Finn Barton actor Joe Gil wrote: “What a wonderful man. Rest in peace Steve.”

And it wasn’t just soap stars sharing their heartbreak either, with a number of other famous faces also expressing their sorrow at the loss of one of soap’s most beloved actors.

Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Arnold wrote: “So sorry to hear this. What a gent he was. Such wonderful memories of being invited on set and spend time with the Dingle OG. Condolences to the whole ensemble and his loved ones.”

While ITV newsreader Victoria Whittam commented: "So desperately sad to hear that Steve Halliwell has died. My heart goes out to my @emmerdale colleagues, his friends and family.”

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