The actor, who plays Ken Barlow in the long-running soap, has reportedly been told to take as much time as he needs by show bosses.
It is the third family loss to hit the 85-year-old star following the death of his second wife Sara Mottram in 2009 at the age of 58. The couple’s daughter Edwina also died from pneumonia aged 18 months in 1983.
It is believed Vanya, from his marriage to first wife Anna Cropper, died on Friday with friends paying tribute over the weekend.
One friend, Wendy Elisabeth Vick, shared a picture of the pair of them with the caption: “My beautiful, perfect, wonderful best friend and soulmate. Forever in my heart.”
Vanya is survived by fiance Toby, who she lived with in Chichester, West Sussex.