Actress Maggie Fox, best known for her roles in Coronation Street and Shameless, has died following a “sudden accident”.
Her death was announced by her friend and comedy partner Sue Ryding, who wrote on the pair’s theatre company website: “It is with great sadness that I have to announce the death of Maggie Fox, my comedy partner of 40 years and co-Artistic Director of LipService.
“Maggie passed away yesterday with her family around her… As you can imagine I am completely heartbroken.”
While she did not give specific details of the cause of death, she wrote: “We are still all in a state of shock as this was very sudden following an accident.”
Fox was best known for playing Ruth Audsley, an old friend of Hayley Cropper, in Coronation Street in 2001.
She returned to the soap in 2010 to play Judge Travers, granting custody to Kylie Turner after her son Max was placed in foster care.
In the post announcing the actress’s death, Ryding said that she had first met Fox when the pair studied drama at Bristol University in the 1970’s.
They went on to launch their theatre company in 1985.
Ryding wrote: “We have written 22 original comedies, touring all over the world, managing to have children in between!
“It’s notoriously difficult to present new work in theatre and we are really proud that we managed to do so and to build an audience for it.”
A jobbing actress, Fox played Bilson – the housekeeper to Damian Lewis’s titular solicitor Soames Forsyte – in popular ITV period drama The Forsyte Saga in 2002 and 2003.
Fox also appeared in a 2006 episode of Shameless, playing a registrar at Frank and Sheila’s wedding.
Away from TV, she also voiced the librarian in the 2003 Bob The Builder movie.
Her last TV appearance was in 2012 in period TV movie The Making Of A Lady.
It is with huge sadness that I announce the death of my comedy partner of 40 years Maggie Fox yesterday. I sat down and remembered certain moments in shows where the audience laughed so much we had to pause. Sometimes we laughed too! Full statement https://t.co/CzEA0QcTzZ pic.twitter.com/4wPvXMvZCd
— LipService Theatre (@LipServicetour) March 22, 2022
Fox also co-wrote and performed in the Radio 4 sketch show Lip Service, which she co-wrote with Ryding.
The pair had been scheduled to go on a nationwide tour this week.
Ryding said she would be releasing digital footage of some of Fox’s work “to celebrate her comedy genius” later in the year.