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15 July 2020 18:37

Sandy Thomas Emmerdale Freddie Jones

Emmerdale actress Paula Tilbrook has died aged 89. The soap star was known for her role as Betty Eagleton, who she played for 21 years on the ITV programme. It said Tilbrook, who joined the show in 1994 and left in 2015, died seven months ago from natural causes on 1 December. In a statement, Emmerdale said: "The family of Paula Tilbrook are sad to confirm the peaceful passing of their beloved Paula. Tilbrook, who was born in Salford, Lancashire, made her television debut in 1969 in Jack Rosenthal's sitcom The Dustbinmen and variety show Ken Dodd and the Diddymen.

She made a series of appearances in Coronation Street in 1973 as well as Last of the Summer Wine and Brookside in the 1980s. A spokeswoman for ITV said: "We are saddened to hear of the passing of our much loved colleague, Paula Tilbrook. Emmerdale star Paula Tilbrook, who played Betty Eagleton for 21 years has died. Her family released a statement via Emmerdale confirming that the beloved actress died of "natural causes" a few months ago. "The family of Paula Tilbrook are sad to confirm the peaceful passing of their beloved Paula.

"She died of natural causes a few months ago at home with her loved ones beside her. Betty was a beloved Emmerdale character for 21 years (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock) Paula Tilbrook in Emmerdale Paula joined the show in 1994 and established Betty as a gossip, but good, loyal friend. Betty was the former lover of Seth Armstrong and she first arrived in the village to find him. When he was due back in Emmerdale for Christmas, he sadly died on the plane and they were never reunited. Seth and Betty in Emmerdale (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock) Betty left in 2014 to go on a cruise around New Zealand.

Feeling left out and unwanted, Betty subsequently revealed her plans to return to Australia for good. However it wasn't the last we saw of Betty, she regularly Skyped the locals from a webcam in Australia. In February 2020 Betty rang Laurel to reveal Sandy Thomas had died. Laurel and the family went out to Oz for the funeral and Doug Potts, decided to move into Sandy's old apartment after Betty offered it to him. What else was Paula Tilbrook in? Betty departed Emmerdale in 2015 (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock) Paula Tilbrook's television debut came in 1969 sitcom The Dustbinmen. Paula also starred in 11 episodes of Coronation Street in 1973 as Vivienne Barford. She also appeared in Last Of The Summer Wine and Brookside. Emmerdale releases statement Emmerdale has released a statement about the death of Paula. "We are saddened to hear of the passing of our much loved colleague, Paula Tilbrook. "Paula was at the heart of Emmerdale for many years and she will be greatly missed by all who worked with her and by the fans of her character, Betty. Fans pay tribute to the Emmerdale legend Tributes have been pouring in for Paula on Twitter as fans take in the news of her death. We're saddened to hear of the passing of Emmerdale icon, Paula Tilbrook, whose portrayal of the lovable busybody, Betty Eagleton (sort of Armstrong) kept us entertained throughout her years at Emmerdale. — Ena Sharples' hairnet (@HeavenliDenton) July 15, 2020 Rest in peace Paula Tilbrook. Betty was such an iconic character ❤️ #emmerdale pic.twitter.com/rUZhWRX7z9 — Vanessa Booty (@Vanessabooty1) July 15, 2020 Tributes have poured in for the Emmerdale star (Picture: ITV/REX) Tributes have poured in online for Emmerdale star Paula Tilbrook, who has died at the age of 89. The beloved actress, who portrayed Betty Eagleton in the ITV soap, died in December, but it was confirmed by The Stage today. Tilbrook played Betty from 1994 until her departure in 2015. She briefly reprised her role in on Christmas Day 2015, when Betty appeared via Skype to speak to the villagers. Following the tragic news, moving tributes have been paid by fans who shared their fond memories of watching the actress on TV. One fan tweeted: 'RIP Paula Tilbrook. Paula played much-loved character Betty (Picture: ITV/REX) She was a staple in the soap for 21 years (Picture: ITV/REX) Another commented: 'Really sad to hear of the passing of Paula Tilbrook. 'We're saddened to hear of the passing of Emmerdale icon, Paula Tilbrook, whose portrayal of the lovable busybody, Betty Eagleton (sort of Armstrong) kept us entertained throughout her years at Emmerdale,' one tribute read. Just heard the news about Paula Tilbrook, who I knew best for her role as Betty Eagleton in Emmerdale. She passed away in December 2019 but her death was just announced today 😔 Bless her! RIP Paula Tilbrook pic.twitter.com/x6zwmfPFsj — Daniel ミ☆ (@DanielObviously) July 15, 2020 RIP Paula Tilbrook, who made an icon of Betty Eagleton in Emmerdale.#bettyeagleton "Its grand 'ere, in't it?" pic.twitter.com/r9C4O1RaWQ — KathyEmmerdale (@EmmerdaleKathy) July 15, 2020 RIP Paula Tilbrook — Marc Almond (@Tubzy2001) July 15, 2020 RIP Paula Tilbrook. Loved her in Emmerdale. — Ena Sharples' hairnet (@HeavenliDenton) July 15, 2020 Saddened to read of the death of Paula Tilbrook. She created an icon in Betty Eagleton and was an integral part of Emmerdale for so long. RIP Paula. We're saddened to hear of the passing of Emmerdale icon, Paula Tilbrook, whose portrayal of the lovable busybody, Betty Eagleton (sort of Armstrong) kept us entertained throughout her years at Emmerdale. pic.twitter.com/jMyHrqy8F8 — The Tates of Home Farm (@TateDynasty) July 15, 2020 Throughout her career, Tilbrook was known for more than just Emmerdale. In 1977, she made an appearance as Estelle Plimpton in Coronation Street. In 1979 she appeared in Tales of the Unexpected from 1991 to 1993, where she played Vivian Barford in the ITV soap opera. She also had other roles in Open All Hours and Last of the Summer Wine. If you've got a soap or TV story, video or pictures get in touch by emailing us [email protected] – we'd love to hear from you. Join the community by leaving a comment below and stay updated on all things soaps at our homepage. If you've got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we'd love to hear from you.