Coronation Street star Anne Kirkbride, who has played Deirdre Barlow since 1972, has died aged 60 after a short illness. The campaign was even backed by Prime Minister Tony Blair. She met David Beckett after he appeared as an odd-job man who saved Deirdre's daughter Tracy from a chip pan fire in 1991. At the time of her death, she had been away from the screen for four months after taking a break following her diagnosis with cancer. Deirdre was part of Coronation Street for over 30 years before actress Anne Kirkbride died in 2014. DEIRDRE Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) returned to Coronation Street for her daughter Tracy Barlow's (Kate Ford) wedding. Corrie's Deirdre Barlow returns from dead for Tracy's wedding. Coronation Street will air emotional scenes later this year that will see Deirdre Barlow's loved ones learn that she has passed away. The popularity of her character was demonstrated when a real-life campaign was launched to free Deirdre when a storyline saw the character jailed in 1998 after being duped into a mortgage fraud by fiance Jon Lindsay. In real life, Anne said that she had never wanted to be a mother (left). The woman known to millions as Deirdre Barlow … No Rovers Return for best-loved soap actress who died in January Anne Kirkbride dead: Coronation Street legend Deirdre Barlow’s 10 best moments through the years ... the real life death of Maggie Jones meant Deirdre was dealt a … Anne Kirkbride, who played Deirdre for 42 years, died in January aged 60. Actress Anne Kirkbride passed away after a short illness aged 60 Anne Kirkbride, who played Deirdre Barlow for 42 years in Coronation Street, tragically passed away earlier this year after a short battle with breast cancer. In real life, Kirkbride married another of her Corrie co-stars. Wednesday night was a huge moment for Coronation Street fans, who had to finally say goodbye to the nation’s sweetheart Deirdre Barlow. She was 60-years-old. Deirdre Barlow 'killed off' in Coronation Street: Anne Kirkbride's character is written out of soap. Deirdre’s death has yet to be revealed on the soap but husband Ken (Bill Roache) will be told she was found dead in …