14/10/2016 22:49 BST | Updated 17/10/2016 09:57 BST

Jean Alexander Dead: Coronation Street's Hilda Ogden Actress Dies, Aged 90

The actress and her character both became household names.

Jean Alexander, the actress famous for playing Coronation Street’s Hilda Ogden, has died at the age of 90.

Her niece Sonia Hearld has confirmed the sad news, which comes just three days after Jean’s birthday.

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Jean as Hilda 

Speaking to the Mirror, Sonia explains that the soap legend died in her sleep on Friday (14 October), after being taken to hospital on her birthday on Tuesday (11 October).

“It is such a shock,” she says. “She had been feeling a little poorly and had gone in for some tests.

“But on Tuesday she was still not too good and it was decided she might be better going back into hospital.

“I saw her last week and she seemed weak and a bit tired but this was still a shock.

“The hospital phoned me and said they were very sorry but Jean had passed away.”

“She was a lady who knew her own mind,” Sonia continues. “She knew what she wanted to do and she did it.

“She was determined to become a success and she did.”

Sonia, her sister Valeria Thewlis and their father Kenneth Hodgkinson are Jean’s only living relatives, adds the paper. 

Jean played Hilda continuously from 1964 to 1987, and later made a series of one-off appearances as the character in the 1990s.

When her final 1987 scene aired, over 27 million viewers tuned in to say farewell to Hilda, who is still never far from the top of any Best Soap Character polls.

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