Irish Coronation Street and Royle Family star Doreen Keogh dies aged 91
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Irish Coronation Street and Royle Family star Doreen Keogh dies aged 91

IRISH actress Doreen Keogh has died in Ireland aged 91, her family have said. 

In a statement, her niece and nephews Laurence, Matthew and Christina Keogh said: "Our auntie Doreen died peacefully in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, Ireland, on New Year's Eve after a long illness.

"She is known for the parts she played in prominent TV series including Coronation Street, Ballykissangel, Father Ted, The Royle Family, Cold Feet, Fair City, Z Cars, Crossroads and others.

"She also had many stage and film roles, including a part in the 1960 Blake Edwards-directed musical Darling Lili with Julie Andrews and Rock Hudson."

The Dublin native started her acting career in 1948 but came to prominence in 1960 on the fifth ever episode of Coronation Street as the soap's first barmaid Concepta Riley, a role she continued to play through until the 1970s.

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Her most notable roles included Mary Carroll, a much-loved neighbour on The Royle Family, and Pete's mother Audrey in Cold Feet.

In the 1990s she played the character Mrs Dineen in two episodes of Father Ted, most memorably for having a fight with Mrs Doyle over paying a bill at a tea shop.

Doreen Keogh also played Imelda Egan on Irish soap Ballykissangel.

She is also credited with coaching Barbra Streisand on how to speak with a cockney accent for her film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, despite being from Dublin, her family said.

John Whiston, the Creative Director of ITV Studios said: "All at Coronation Street are sad to hear about the death of Doreen Keogh.

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"There have been many barmaids in the Rovers over the years, dispensing pints and wisdom in equal measure.

"But Doreen played the first and so has a unique place not just in the history of the show but in the affection of all who watch The Street.

"Our thoughts are with the family as they mourn the passing of a wonderful person. And together with our audience we also mourn the passing of a very special actor."