Emmerdale and Waterloo Road actress Kay Purcell dies after cancer battle

Emmerdale and Waterloo Road star Kay Purcell has died aged 57 after a battle with cancer.

Her death was announced "with great regret" on Twitter on December 24 by her agents, David Daly Associates.

The message read: "It is with great regret that we announce the death of Kay Purcell at the age of 57.

"Kay was a very valued client who had been represented by David Daly Associates for many years.

"We send sympathy and love to her family and friends."

Kay was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and was told she had inoperable liver cancer earlier this year.

She took to her Facebook page earlier this month to say she was "certainly not giving up" and was looking forward to turning 60.

She penned: "From now on I'm going to live my life to the fullest, spending every day living the best of my life I can."

Kay courageously shared her journey whilst fighting cancer to help raise awareness of the disease and its effect on people and their families.

Tributes have flooded social media following the sad news of Kay's tragic death.

One fan penned: "I loved Kay Purcell so much. I can't stop crying."

Another added: "RIP Kay Purcell. An icon – and a huge part of my childhood."

A third person posted: "Rest In Peace Kay Purcell. This is a bit of a shock. She was an outstanding actress in Waterloo Road and Tracey Beaker and no doubt a lovely person x"

While a fourth said: "R.I.P Kay Purcell I loved watching her as Gina in Tracy Beaker Returns. Such a big loss my thoughts and prayers go to her family & friends at this sad time xx"

Kay was born in Leyland, Lancashire in 1963.

She appeared in Coronation Street and Casualty before joining Emmerdale where she played Carmel Morgan from 1996 to 1998 before returning to the soap in 2001 to play Cynthia Daggert.

The star went on to appear in the first series of Celebrity Fit Club and play Candice Smilie in Waterloo Road.

Kay also played Gina Conway in Tracy Beaker Returns, a role she reprised in its spin-off series The Dumping Ground.

She set up a management company, Kay Purcell Management, back in 2009.

The TV icon is survived by her three children, Ashley, Shemar and Indika, and her "beautiful" grandson Levon.

  • Emmerdale

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