Actor Peter Baldwin, best known for his 21-year role as Derek Wilton in Coronation Street, has died aged 82.
A Coronation Street spokesman told the ITV News website: “It is with great sadness we’ve learned respected former Coronation Street actor Peter Baldwin has died. Peter passed away at his home in north London last night after a short illness.
“We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.”
Tributes poured in from friends and colleagues.
Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Coronation Street’s Jenny Bradley, wrote on Twitter: “Lovely Peter Baldwin. Such a gentle, kind, funny man and a wonderful actor and toy shop purveyor x.”
Charlie Lawson, Corrie’s Jim McDonald, tweeted: “Very sorry to hear of the death of Peter Baldwin. I remember him in The GTV Club drinking G+T and putting £££££s in the bandit!! Good chap.”
Baldwin first appeared as Derek in 1976. His character began dating the dithering Mavis Riley shortly afterwards, although their protracted relationship did not lead to marriage until 1988.
Derek was written out of the soap in 1997, when the character had a heart attack after arguing with a driver in a road rage incident.
Baldwin, who was b orn in Sussex, married actress Sarah Long.
Long presented the BBC’s long-running children’s programme Play School, but she died from cancer in 1987.
After Coronation Street, Baldwin continued to appear on several TV series.
Between acting jobs, he worked at Pollock’s Toy Museum and managed its traditional toy shop in London’s Covent Garden, according to the BBC.
In 1988, Baldwin took over the ownership of the shop.
The actor was still recognised for his role in Coronation Street, as he told the BBC in 2010: “I even get customers from America, Canada and New Zealand who watch repeats of the show and are very surprised to see me when they walk into the shop.”
Baldwin is survived by his two children.