Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell dies three years after lung cancer diagnosis

Actress Leah Bracknell has died aged 5, her family have said
Actress Leah Bracknell has died aged 5, her family have said
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Former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell has passed away aged 55.

The star, who played Zoe Tate for 16 years on the ITV soap, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer three years ago.

A statement released by her manager on Wednesday confirmed the actress - who had been writing about her experience of cancer on her blog, Something Beginning With C - died last month.

Ms Bracknell's diagnosis came to light in October 2016, when her husband Jez Hughes launched a GoFundMe page raising money for her to undergo treatment overseas due to certain treatments not being available on the NHS.

The cancer was discovered in September the same year, after the actress sought medical help for rapid weight gain and breathlessness.

More than £50,000 was raised for the groundbreaking treatment in Germany.

However, new medication Ms Bracknell was taking failed.

A statement from her manager, on behalf of Ms Bracknell's family, said: "They would like to thank all the public for their support and generosity which contributed to the extension and quality of her life over the past three years.

"Leah continued to embrace life and faced her illness with positivity. Many aspects of her journey can be found on her blog - somethingbeginningwithc.com.

"Leah was best known and much loved as Zoe Tate in Emmerdale. She also had roles in Judge John Deed, A Touch of Frost, The Royal Today and DCI Banks to name just a few, as well as numerous appearances on stage and in pantomime. As well as acting, Leah was also an accomplished yoga teacher and shamanic healer.

"Leah had an energy and enthusiasm for life, a kind heart and much love to give to those around her.

"Her family have asked for privacy at this very sad time."