British soap opera star Steve Halliwell dies at 77

British actor Steve Halliwell, best known for his role as Zak Dingle on the soap opera “Emmerdale,” has died. He was 77.

Halliwell, who was a cast member on the popular show for 29 years, died peacefully surrounded by loved ones, British public broadcaster ITV said in a statement posted on Instagram.

“It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that Emmerdale can confirm that Steve Halliwell, our beloved Zak Dingle, has peacefully passed away,” ITV said. 

“He was making us laugh to the end,” the family said in a statement. “The most amazing father and grandfather you could ever wish for, family was everything to him.”

John Whiston, managing director of Continuing Drama and head of ITV in the North said, “Steve Halliwell was one of those rare human beings who was as wonderful off screen as on. To millions of Emmerdale viewers he was the brawny but crafty Dingle patriarch who led the clan with a strong fist and a warm heart. To everyone who worked on Emmerdale he was a much loved friend and colleague, the undoubted father of the show, but also its fun mischievous uncle. We will miss him enormously.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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