Nov 27 2012 By Cheryl Mullin
STARS of Coronation Street past and present have paid their respects to Bill Tarmey who played the soap’s Jack Duckworth for three decades.
The actor became one of TV’s most recognisable faces as the long-suffering husband to nagging battleaxe Vera, played by Liz Dawn.
Their endearing on-screen partnership was one of the most popular in soap history and gave the ITV1 show some of its most funny and memorable moments.
Manchester-born Tarmey died at his holiday home in Tenerife on November 9, aged 71.
The former builder dreamed of becoming a singing star and was eking out a living as a crooner in working men’s clubs before joining Coronation Street in 1977 as an extra to supplement his earnings.
Tarmey landed the role of Jack Duckworth two years later and, despite his modesty about his acting ability, a Street legend was born, not leaving the show until 31 years later.
Around 700 people packed into the Albion United Reformed Church in Ashton-under-Lyne for his funeral service, joining his wife of 50 years, Ali, and the couple’s two children, Carl and Sara, to say a final goodbye.
Eulogies were given by Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria Connor, and Pivaro.Ghadie said: “He was genuinely one of the most decent and honourable men you could ever wish to meet.
Fighting back tears throughout, she said: “So many of us here will share great memories of Bill. He made me laugh so much that on occasions I'd be crying with laughter.
“He was wise, kind, honest, warm-hearted and had the most generous spirit.