Veteran British soap actress dies
Betty Driver, a much-loved actress who starred for 42 years in Britain's longest-running television soap opera "Coronation Street", died Saturday at the age of 91.
Driver, who played Betty Turpin, a barmaid at the Rovers Return Inn, appeared in more than 2,800 episodes of the serial made in Manchester and set in a fictional neighbourhood in the northwest English city.
The actress, who had been in hospital for six weeks, first began performing professionally aged eight and had vowed never to retire.
"It is humbling to think that the 42 years she spent on 'Coronation Street' was just half of her extraordinary career," said the show's executive producer Kieran Roberts.
"For more than four decades she delighted many millions of 'Coronation Street' fans with her fantastic performance in countless great stories, both dramatic and comic."
Driver was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1999.
Her Coronation Street character was perhaps best known for making an excellent Lancashire hotpot -- but Driver never actually tasted it because she was a vegetarian.
© 2011 AFP