Anne Kirkbride was laid to rest in an intimate and private funeral service this week, following her sad passing on 19 January. Among the mourners was her close friend and Coronation Street co-star Beverley Callard, invited to the ceremony by Anne's heartbroken husband David Beckett and her brother John.
"My friend Annie had a beautiful send off today!" Beverley told fans on Twitter following the service. "Dave did her proud!!! No show biz, no hypocrisy! A truly beautiful, loving goodbye!! X."
Beverley Callard described Anne Kirkbride's funeral as a 'beautiful, loving goodbye'
Her friend Terry Stapleton agreed. "It was very lovely indeed," he wrote. "Your speech was so warm & touching. Annie would've loved it! X."
Anne's funeral was an intimate affair, at the request of her husband and her brother. Joining her family to pay their last respects were Corrie colleagues Bill Roache, who played her on-screen husband Ken Barlow, Kate Forde, her on-screen daughter Tracy, Chris Gascoyne, Anne’s TV stepson, and Johnny Briggs, who played her long-term lover Mike Baldwin.
The late actress was last seen on screen as Deirdre Barlow in October. Anne passed away from breast cancer in a Manchester hospital earlier this month; her sudden death devastated those who knew her, and prompted an outpouring of tributes from family, friends and fans.
Anne Kirkbride passed away on 19 January
Shortly after her death, her brother released a statement. "As a family we are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of my beautiful sister, Annie," he said. "She was the sort of person who brought light and laughter to everything she did, and she brought magic with her into the world.
"She was without doubt the most kind, generous and loving person I have ever known, and her death has left an empty space in our lives that will be very hard to fill."
He added, "I'd like to thank everyone who has paid tribute to Annie in the press and on social media – it gave us a lot of comfort and made us feel proud.
"Annie was much loved by us all and was a big part of our lives, and she will be missed very much."