Coronation Street legend Doreen Keogh dies aged 91

The actress played Corrie’s first ever Rovers Return barmaid

Doreen Keogh (ITV screenshot, EH)

Doreen Keogh, the actress who played Coronation Street’s first ever barmaid, has died aged 91.

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The Irish star, who first appeared in Corrie as Concepta Regan in 1960, passed away “peacefully” on New Year’s Eve “after a long illness”, her family said in a statement.

Keogh first arrived on the cobbles in the fifth episode of the soap. She did a four-year stint as the barmaid at Rovers Return Inn, before returning in 1967 and in 1975.

She was also well known for playing neighbour Mary Carroll in The Royle Family and Pete’s mother Audrey in Cold Feet. Keogh’s other credits over a 60-year career in television and film include Father Ted and Ballykissangel.

Creative director at ITV Studios, John Whiston, paid tribute to the Corrie star.

“All at Coronation Street are sad to hear about the death of Doreen Keogh,” he told the Mirror.

“There have been many barmaids in the Rovers over the years, dispensing pints and wisdom in equal measure.

“But Doreen played the first and so has a unique place not just in the history of the show but in the affection of all who watch The Street.

“Our thoughts are with the family as they mourn the passing of a wonderful person and together with our audience we also mourn the passing of a very special actor.”

Keogh’s niece and nephews Laurence, Matthew and Christina Keogh said in a statement: “Our auntie Doreen died peacefully in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, Ireland, on New Year’s Eve after a long illness.

“She is known for the parts she played in prominent TV series including Coronation Street, Ballykissangel, Father Ted, The Royle Family, Cold Feet, Fair City, Z Cars, Crossroads and others.

“She also had many stage and film roles, including a part in the 1960 the Blake Edwards-directed musical Darling Lili with Julie Andrews and Rock Hudson.

“Although born In Dublin, she coached Barbra Streisand in the art of speaking in a cockney accent for Streisand’s 1970 film, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”

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Keogh is survived by her husband, Jack Jenner.