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Royle Family star Liz Smith dies aged 95

Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon

Actress Liz Smith, who played the role of Nana in The Royle Family, and Mrs Cropley in the Vicar of Dibley, has died aged 95. A spokesperson for the actress confirmed on Boxing day that she passed away on Christmas eve.

Liz, who was awarded an NBE in 2009 and was also a Bafta-award winner, was a family favourite, having played roles in a plethora of TV shows including 2point4 Children and Lark Rise to Candleford.

She also voiced the role of Mrs Mulch in Wallace and Gromit's The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and starred as Grandma Georgina in the 2005 film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory alongside Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

"The BAFTA award-winning actress Liz Smith has died, on Christmas Eve, at the age of 95," a family statement read.

CELEBRITY DEATHS IN 2016

Liz's real name was Betty Gleadle. She was born in Linconlshire and was a mother of two. Her death comes in the same year that The Royle Family co-creator and Liz's co-star Caroline Aherne also passed away, at the age of 52.

Liz Smith who has died, with Caroline AherneVIEW GALLERY

Liz Smith with her Royle Family costars including Caroline Aherne

Ralf Little, who played the role of Antony Royle in the hit show, expressed his sadness at the news of Liz's death. "Devastating to lose two members of my second family in one awful year," he tweeted. "RIP Liz Smith. Goodbye Nana. Xxx."

Richard E. Grant also paid tribute to the actress.  "Liz Smith - I loved working with you on the George Orwell film & privileged to have played & danced together R.I.P." he wrote.