Emmerdale star Steve Halliwell dies aged 77 - tributes pour in for Zak Dingle actor

Virgin Radio

15 Dec 2023, 14:26

Steve Halliwell smiling on Emmerdale

Credit: X (formerly Twitter) (@Emmerdale)

Steve Halliwell, best known for his portrayal of Zak Dingle in Emmerdale, has died aged 77.

The actor’s death was confirmed by ITV on Friday, 15th December, in a statement which read: “It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that Emmerdale can confirm that Steve Halliwell, our beloved Zak Dingle, has peacefully passed away.

“All our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones through this very difficult time,” it continued, “And we’d request that their privacy is respected as they gireve for his loss.”

Steve’s family said in a statement released at the same time: “He went to sleep, peacefully with his loved ones around him. He was making us laugh to the end, the most amazing father and grandfather you could ever wish for, family was everything to him.”

The family expressed their thanks to the staff at St James Hospital and the Wheatfield Hospice “for their love and kindness in his final days” before ending their message saying: “He didn’t want sadness, just to rejoice in a life well lived.”

Tributes for Steve have been pouring in since news of his death was confirmed on Friday. John Whiston, ITV’s 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 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,” he finished.

Steve starred on Emmerdale from 1994 to the present day, and as ITV’s statement continued: “Steve will forever be synonymous with Emmerdale. The proud defender and head of the Dingle family. Heart and humour in all he did, it has been and always will be impossible not to smile when you think of him.”

The thoughts of everyone at Virgin Radio go out to Steve's friends and family.