Coronation Street legend dies aged 75 as tributes flood in following 13-year cancer battle

Anita Carey in Doctors

Anita Carey, who starred in BBC's Doctors and ITV's Coronation Street, has died

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 07/08/2023

- 08:40

Anita Carey became a popular figure on the Cobbles back in the 70s.

Actor Anita Carey has died at the age of 75 following her breast cancer diagnosis.

The former Coronation Street and Doctors star was first diagnosed 13 years ago.

Carey was born on April 16, 1948 and is died on July 19, 2023.

Paying tribute to the actor, one fan penned on Twitter: "Really sad to hear the news that Anita Carey has died best known to #ClassicCorrie fans as Joyce Smedley the mother of Judy Mallett from 1996 to 1997. #Corrie."

While a second echoed: "Devastated to hear about the Passing of Anita Carey.. Played Vivien in @BBCDoctors amongst other Roles... Absolute loved her in Doctors.

"Rest in peace Anita. Thoughts go out to Anita's Friends and Family at this difficult time x #bbcdoctors."

Anita Carey starred in Doctors

Anita Carey starred in Doctors back in 2007


Elsewhere, another shared their condolences: "So sad to read this news today."

And a fourth added: "Sad news. She was wonderful in @BBCDoctors and gave some remarkable performances.. #anitacarey." (sic)

Carey became a household name back in the 1970s as a familiar face in some of the UK's best-loved comedy series.

However, in 1978 Carey made the switch to soap-land to take on a hard-hitting storyline on ITV's Coronation Street.

She starred as domestic violence victim Brenda Summers and struck up a friendship with soap stalwart, Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire).

After Carey left the soap the following year, it wasn't the last fans would see of her in Weatherfield.

Two decades later, Carey returned to Corrie and again found herself at the centre of a rather gritty storyline.

She'd ditched her Brenda Summers persona and this time took on the role of Joyce Smedley.

Coronation street logo

Carey starred in Corrie during two separate stints


ITV soap fans watched as Carey brought the character to life from 1996 to 1997 as her new fictional alter ego struggled with debt and money problems on-screen.

A decade on and Carey was back in the world of soaps on the BBC.

She appeared in daytime soap Doctors as Vivien March in 2007.

Speaking of ditching comedy for the real-life issues portrayed in soap operas, she said: "I’ve done so much comedy on television that I was anxious to get a really meaty dramatic role.

"The social relevance of the part was a big challenge. It made me think hard about battered wives," she said of her Corrie stint.

Carey continued to act following her cancer diagnosis, making a number of stage appearances.

She headed to the United States where she lent her talents to shows in Berkeley, Washington and New York.

Carey is survived by husband Mark Wing-Davey following their marriage in 2002 and their two daughters, Zanna and Isabella.

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