Thanks to ITV airing classic episodes of Heartbeat each day, fans of the show have been able to enjoy re-watching all the drama in Ashfordly once again. As well as taking a trip down memory lane, viewers have been reminded by the stars of the show that have gone on to continue their acting career elsewhere.
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Geoffrey as Vernon Scripps in Heartbeat
But there are a number of Heartbeat favourites that are sadly no longer with us. One of those stars was Geoffrey Hughes, who sadly died in 2012. Find out what happened to him here...
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Geoffrey Hughes: Heartbeat
In Heartbeat, Geoffrey played the role of "lovable rouge" Vernon Scripps. His character was considered light-hearted and comedic, who owned a small share in his half-brother Bernie's (Peter Benson) garage business. Geoffrey left the show in series 14 and his character had a dramatic exit. Vernon faked his own suicide to escape the taxman. In series 16, he returned to try to claim inheritance and it was then revealed that he had begun a new life in Spain.
The actor appeared in the drama for four years
What else was Geoffrey Hughes known for?
Geoffrey began his acting career in the sixties, and had a number of small roles in films such as Smashing Times. Another one of Geoffrey's first acting roles was in the form of a voiceover in the film Yellow Submarine, in which he voiced Paul McCartney's character. The actor then went on to appear in more titles such as Carry On at Your Convenience. In 1974, he then become more well-known after he began appearing in Coronation Street as Eddie Yeats.
The actor was also known for his role as Eddie in Coronation Street
Geoffrey played the role for nearly ten years, before leaving in 1983. He returned to the soap again briefly in 1987. In 1990, he began starring in Keeping Up Appearances, a role which he had for five years and made him a household name, as Onslow. In the late nineties, Geoffrey also appeared in sitcom The Royle Family as Twiggy. More recently, after his turn in his Heartbeat, Geoffrey appeared in Casualty and cult-tv drama Skins.
How did Geoffrey Hughes die?
In July 2012, it was announced by Geoffrey's agent that the actor had sadly passed "peacefully in his sleep". Geoffrey, who was 68 when he died, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the nineties, but had made a recovery. However, in 2012, the illness returned – forcing him to retire from his acting work. His Coronation Street co-star William Roache, who played Ken Barlow, said: "I am so sorry to hear about Geoffrey. He was a warm, lovable actor, with great comedy timing. He will be greatly missed, one of the Street's memorable characters."
Another Corrie co-star, Helen Worth, who played Gail McIntyre, expressed her sadness at the news. "Geoff was a very dear friend for many years, and I'm very sad to hear the news of his passing. He was a master of gentle comedy and brought pleasure to so many people. He will be sadly missed", she said.
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