18/08/2015 07:52 BST | Updated 18/08/2015 12:59 BST

Kitty McGeever Dead: Stars Pay Tribute To ‘Emmerdale' Actress Following Her Death At the Age Of 44

The cast and crew of ‘Emmerdale’ have being paying tribute to actress Kitty McGeever following her death at the age of 44.

Kitty, who joined the cast in 2009, was the first ever blind actress to be cast in a British soap.

Producers of the ITV soap confirmed her death in a a statement, which read: "It is with much sadness that Emmerdale confirms actress Kitty McGeever, who played the character of Lizzie Lakely, passed away last night, surrounded by her loving family.

"Kitty was a great talent and a true inspiration to all who worked with her. The cast and crew are devastated at her passing and she will be missed tremendously and remembered fondly by all of us."

Kitty McGeever (1971-2015)

Her ‘Emmerdale’ castmates, crew members and friends also paid their respects, taking to Twitter to express their sadness at the loss of their colleague and friend...

It's since emerged that Kitty could end up saving lives after her death after it was revealed that she has donated her liver and corneas to medicine in a final act of kindness.

Speaking about the actress, Emmerdale’s producer Kate Oates said: "What she did do was donate her liver and also her corneas, so Kitty’s family and Kitty have hopefully given the gift of life to someone else through this tragedy, which I think is just a wonderful thing.

"She became friends with everybody, she was a real social butterfly – just this huge, huge presence. That’s what was really groundbreaking about her."

She added: "The word “inspiration” is banded around far too often but for Kitty there is no better word for her, she was just amazing."

The actress played Lizzie Lakely until March 2013, when she was forced to quit due to illness.

Lizzie was a huge hit with fans during her years in the Dales, and her feisty nature and mischievous tendencies resulted in many hilarious plot developments.


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