Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth for more than 30 years, died peacefully aged 77, her family said.
In a statement her family said they are "devastated and heartbroken at the passing of our much-loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great grandmother, the incredible Liz Dawn."
Her family said she died peacefully on Monday night at home "with her loving family around her".
They added: "She has been the love, light and inspiration in our lives and we are bereft at her passing."
Coronation Street said in a statement that "her family at Coronation Street are heartbroken".
They added: "We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy at this very sad time to Liz's devoted husband Don, her loving children Graham, Dawn, Ann and Julie, their families and her six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
"We have been blessed to have Liz in our lives, as she was such a kind, considerate and caring friend and colleague. As Coronation Street's Vera Duckworth for 34 years, Liz brought so much joy and happiness to so many. She was a wonderful actress who will forever be a true Coronation Street legend."
She first appeared in Coronation Street in 1974 before her character moved into number nine along with husband Jack, played by the late Bill Tarmey.
After being diagnosed with emphysema, Dawn was written out of the soap in 2008 when Vera died in her sleep.
Two years later, she made a moving comeback as the much-loved Corrie resident.
Just before he passed away, Jack saw a vision of the wife who had spent years nagging him and they shared a last dance together.
In 2012, Tarmey died in Spain. At the time, she said: "You couldn't wish to meet a more lovely man and a true gentleman."
Speaking about her health on a celebrity version of the Jeremy Kyle Show in 2014, the actress revealed: "I take a lot of tablets. I just live every day and get on with it."
Born Sylvia Butterfield, the actress was best known by her professional name Elizabeth or Liz Dawn.
She was awarded an MBE in the 2000 birthday honours.
Coronation Street's executive producer, Kieran Roberts, said in a statement: "Liz Dawn was a true Coronation Street legend, a brilliant actor and a wonderful person.
"Everyone lucky enough to have worked with Liz during her 34 years playing Corrie icon Vera Duckworth will remember her with huge affection."