Actor had been ill for 2 years

Former Coronation Street star Geoffrey Hughes has died at the age of 68.

The actor – who played binman Eddie Yeats in the soap between 1974 and 1983 – passed away on Friday after a 2-year battle with prostate cancer.

In the 1990s, he starred in sitcom Keeping Up Appearances as Onslow, the brother-in-law of Patricia Routledge‘s character Hyacinth Bucket.

More recently, Geoffrey appeared in long-running police drama Heartbeat as businessman Vernon Scripps and in The Royle Family as Twiggy.

In 2009, he was appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the Isle Of Wight, where he ran a wood supply company with his wife Sue.

‘We are very sad to hear of the death of Geoffrey Hughes. He created a legendary and iconic character in Eddie Yeats who will always be part of Coronation Street,’ a spokeswoman for the show tells The Guardian.

‘Everyone connected with the programme send our sincerest condolences to his family.’

SEE PICTURES Celebrity deaths 2012

SEE PICTURES Celebrity deaths 2011

Anna Duff