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Coronation Street icon John Savident, renowned for Fred Elliott role, passes away at 86

ESTEEMED Coronation Street actor John Savident, renowned for his portrayal of Fred Elliott, has passed away at the age of 86, according to his agent. The somber announcement was made by Savident’s agent to the PA news agency, describing the actor as a much-loved husband and father of two, leaving behind a void deeply felt by those who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Savident made his debut on the beloved British soap in 1994, swiftly becoming a fan favourite with his resonant portrayal of the butcher on the iconic cobbled streets. Fred Elliott’s tumultuous love life, marked by three marriages and a series of failed proposals, became a central theme in the character’s storyline. The introduction of a secret son, Ashley (played by Steven Arnold), who joined him as a fellow butcher, added further depth to Fred’s narrative.

In a poignant moment for Coronation Street fans, the character of Fred Elliott met his end in 2006 when he suffered a stroke on the day he was set to marry Bev Unwin (Susie Blake). Beyond his memorable stint on ITV’s Corrie, Savident showcased his acting prowess in various productions, including his role as Monsieur Firmin in Phantom of the Opera on the West End in 1986.

Aside from his television and stage work, Savident also made notable appearances in Doctor Who, The Remains of the Day, and Danger Man. Following his extended tenure on Coronation Street, he chose to retire to dedicate more time to his family. Despite stepping away from the spotlight, Savident continued to make occasional appearances in theatre productions, UK tours, and pantomimes.

Married to Rona Hopkinson since 1961, Savident leaves behind a legacy of two children and several grandchildren. Colleagues and peers from the entertainment industry expressed their grief and paid tribute to the late actor. Stuart Antony, a fellow soap actor, remembered Savident as “wonderful and witty,” while director Morris Bright hailed him as a “wonderful character actor.” Coronation Street writer Daran Little fondly reminisced about the joyous memories with Savident and bid him farewell with heartfelt words.

Fans of Coronation Street echoed sentiments of loss, praising John Savident as one of the soap’s ‘finest’ and ‘funniest’ actors, highlighting the enduring impact of his contributions to the iconic series.