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'Coronation Street' actor Johnny Briggs, who played Mike Baldwin, dies aged 85

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·4-min read
Johnny Briggs attends the Royal Television Society Awards. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Johnny Briggs attends the Royal Television Society Awards. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

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.

Read more: Coronation Street pays tribute to Deirdre actor Anne Kirkbride

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.”

'Coronation Street' stars Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin), Amanda Barrie (Alma Baldwin) and William Roache (Ken Barlow), pictured in December 1991. (Photo by Nigel Wright/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
'Coronation Street' stars Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin), Amanda Barrie (Alma Baldwin) and William Roache (Ken Barlow), pictured in December 1991. (Photo by Nigel Wright/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

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.

Read more: Name these UK soaps from just three characters

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".

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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.

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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.

Watch: The latest from Coronation Street