Steve Halliwell dead: Emmerdale legend dies aged 77 as tributes pour in for Zak Dingle star

Steve Halliwell dead: Emmerdale legend dies aged 77 as tributes pour in for Zak Dingle star

WATCH NOW: News of Steve Halliwell's death is announced

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 15/12/2023

- 13:44

Updated: 15/12/2023

- 15:43

The actor played Zak Dingle for almost three decades

Emmerdale actor Steve Halliwell has died at the age of 77, his family has confirmed.

He played the role of Zak Dingle in the ITV soap for 29 years as one of the show's most recognisable characters.

In a statement, his family said: "He was making us laugh to the end.

"The most amazing father and grandfather you could ever wish for, family was everything to him."

The family also lauded and paid tribute to staff at St James's Hospital in Leeds and Wheatfield Hospice "for their love and kindness in his final days".

The statement went on to add: "He didn't want sadness, just to rejoice in a life well lived."

Steve Halliwell

Steve Halliwell died at the age of 77


The managing director of continuing drama and head of ITV in the north, John Whiston, paid tribute as he said: "Steve Halliwell was one of those rare human beings who was as wonderful off screen as on.

"To millions of Emmerdale viewers he was the brawny but crafty Dingle patriarch who led the clan with a strong fist and a warm heart.

"To everyone who worked on Emmerdale he was a much loved friend and colleague, the undoubted father of the show, but also its fun mischievous uncle. We will miss him enormously."

Lisa Riley, who played Zak's niece Mandy in the soap, also took to social media to remember her on-screen uncle and colleague.

Steve Halliwell and Jane Cox

Steve Halliwell and Jane Cox played Zak and Lisa Dingle together in the soap


She penned on Instagram: "My dearest Steve….love you so much... you are now finally at peace.

"Thank you for years of laughter, you were still laughing right up to the end. Adored, loved, respected by us all, a LEGEND in my eyes that’s for sure - we have stories and memories to last for many more years to come.

"Sleep well Stevie-our prayers of strength go to Charlotte, Val and Angelina at this really difficult time…our extended family. 'That boy from Bury did good' #dingle #family #restinpeace #love #legend #memory #rip @emmerdale #emmerdale."

Tributes from far and wide have also flooded in for the actor, including a number of messages from devastated fans.

On X, formerly Twitter, one fan penned: "A British TV legend lost. Grew up watching Zak Dingle. Rest well, Mr Halliwell."

"Zak Dingle, an icon of emmerdale. RIP," a second added while a third echoed: "A legend like no other! There is only one Zak Dingle. RIP Steve Halliwell.

"Whether you are an #Emmerdale fan or not he really was one of a kind. A true legend! Sending love to Steve's family at this difficult time #EastEnders #Corrie."

And another weighed in: "A true @Emmerdale icon. What a character Zak Dingle was, everyone knew the name. Nobody wore a Flat Cap as well as Zak, a true Yorkshireman! Fantastically brought to life by Steve Halliwell who was such a lovely guy. RIP." (sic)

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