Emmerdale star Tony Audenshaw has spoken out about the heartbreaking death of his wife Ruth, who passed away in April this year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years earlier. Speaking to The Mirror, the soap star recalled the moment Ruth - who was just 43 when she died - was told she had months to live after a hospital visit. He said: "I remember being very quiet as we walked to the hospital car park, then breaking down in the car. Before we worried about forgetting to put the bin out. Now Ruth was going to be dead within a year after a horrible illness."
Following her diagnosis, Ruth – a cognitive behaviour therapist for the NHS - went to Germany for pioneering surgery, but the cancer had spread to her liver. Tony told The Mirror that the illness was particularly unfair, as his wife had always been health conscious. He said: "Her death seems all the more unfair as she did not smoke, and kept fit by running."
Tony Audenshaw tragically lost his wife Ruth to pancreatic cancer in April
Tragically, Tony's heartache mirrored his Emmerdale character Bob's own storyline back in 2013. In the ITV soap, Bob took care of his wife Brenda Walker, played by Lesley Dunlop, after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Tony, 53, opened up about Ruth's death to raise awareness of Pancreatic cancer and charities supporting the illness, such as Pancreatic Cancer UK. He said of his late wife: "Ruth knew it was too late for her, but she wanted to help others."
Tony plays cafe owner Bob Hope in Emmerdale
Tony also recalled the devastating moment he and Ruth broke the news to their children George, 22, and Em, 20. He said: "We spent loads of time together and that made us even closer as a family. I don’t know where I'd have been over the last year without the kids. It's unbearable to think about it."