Coronation Street actress dies 13 years after breast cancer diagnosis

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Coronation Street and Doctors actress Anita Carey has passed away at the age of 75 (Image: Rex)
Coronation Street and Doctors actress Anita Carey has passed away at the age of 75 (Image: Rex)

Anita Carey has died at the age of 75 following a 13-year period of living alongside a breast cancer diagnosis. The Yorkshire born actress was best known for her roles on British soaps Coronation Street and Doctors.

The mum-of-two continued to work on stage and appear on TV shows in the United States following the diagnosis over a decade ago. Anita's biggest roles in UK TV saw the former soap star play Joyce Smedley on ITV's Coronation Street between 1996 and 1997 and enjoying a two-year stint on BBC show Doctors from 2007, winning an award for her portrayal of receptionist Vivien March in the BBC soap opera in 2009.

Prior to appearing in soaps, Anita was a regular face on TV comedies but made a leap into a more dramatic role in the 1970s, when she made her first cameo on the cobbled streets of Weatherfield. The mum-of-two enjoyed a short run on the ITV soap in 1978, taking on the role of Brenda Summers, a victim of domestic violence, who was befriended by Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire).

Coronation Street actress dies 13 years after breast cancer diagnosis eideziqkeiqhhinvAnita Carey has died at the age of 75 following 13 years of living alongside breast cancer (Rex)
Coronation Street actress dies 13 years after breast cancer diagnosisThe late actress as Joyce Smedley on Coronation Street during her second stint on the soap (Granada TV)

Anita returned to the soap a decade later as Joyce Smedley, mum of Gaynor Faye's character Judy Mallett. Despite enjoying several storylines during her second stunt on the long-running soap, Anita's character departed Weatherfield during then new Coronation Street producer Brian Park's brutal casting cull.

The actress returned to soapland in May 2007 when she made her debut in Doctors as receptionist Vivien March. Anita's performance and portrayal of her character dealing with the trauma of being raped by a burglar earned the actress the British Soap Award for Best Dramatic Performance at the 2009 British Soap Awards.

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She reportedly passed away on July 19, but the news has just been announced. Paying tribute on Twitter as the news of her death broke, one fan of Anita's penned: "Really sad to read about the death of Anita Carey. I remember watching her in Doctors and she was incredible during Vivian's rape story, which rightfully won awards. A brilliant actress. RIP."

Coronation Street actress dies 13 years after breast cancer diagnosisAnita appearing on Coronation Street during the 1970s (Rex)

"Saddened to hear about Anita Carey. She was a joy to write for as Vivien on Doctors and it was great to meet her once at the soap awards," another shared on Twitter, as a third wrote: "Very sad news about the fabulous Anita Carey. A very deserving winner of Dramatic Performance at the @SoapAwards. Always a joy to talk to."

In addition to Coronation Street and Doctors, Anita's other TV credits included Last of the Summer Wine, Casualty, The Last Witness, Midsomer Murders, Where the Heart is and Band of Gold. Also a seasoned stage performer, the late actress starred as Gower in Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Anita was married to actor Mark Wing-Davey, with the pair tying the knot in 2002 after meeting while appearing in a stage production in Sheffield together in 1973. The couple welcomed two daughters into the world together. Anita and her family relocated to America when Mark took a job overseas, where she appeared in a number of stage productions and became chair of the graduate acting programme at New York University in 2008.

Zoe Delaney

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