Geoffrey Hughes, who played Eddie Yeats in Coronation Street and Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances, has died from prostate cancer aged 68.
Hughes, who grew up in Liverpool, died on Friday night.
He joined Coronation Street in 1974 as Eddie Yeats, a character with a criminal past.
In between further brushes with the law, Yeats went into partnership with Stan Ogden in his window cleaning business, and had a short-lived curtain-making venture with Hilda Ogden.
He also tried to sell shoddy goods to his neighbours on numerous occasions.
Hughes ceased to be a Coronation Street regular in 1983, but made a brief final appearance as Yeats in 1987.
He first appeared on Keeping Up Appearances in 1990, playing Onslow, the lovable slob and brother-in-law of Hyacinth Bucket.
To the dismay of the socially climbing Bucket, Onslow lived in a scruffy council house with a rusting Hillman Avenger in in the front garden
In real life, however, Hughes enjoyed sailing, golf and cricket, and in 2009 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for the Isle of Wight.
In 2010 Hughes was rushed to hospital for intense radiotherapy after collapsing at his Isle of Wight home.
Hughes had thought he had beaten prostate cancer the previous year, but the actor and his wife Sue were given the news the disease had returned.
Hughes, who publicly supported cancer charities, first appeared in 1960s classics such as Z-Cars and The Likely Lads and was the voice of Paul McCartney in the Beatles film The Yellow Submarine.
Other roles included Vernon in Heartbeat and Uncle Keith in teen drama Skins.
Hughes also guest-starred in episodes of Doctor Who, Casualty, Boon and The Upper Hand.
William Roache, the long-serving Coronation Street star who plays Ken Barlow in the soap, said: “I am so sorry to hear about Geoffrey. He was a warm, lovable actor, with great comedy timing.
“He will be greatly missed, one of the Street’s memorable characters.”
A Coronation Street spokeswoman said: “We are very sad to hear of the death of Geoffrey Hughes.
“He created a legendary and iconic character who will always be part of Coronation Street.
“Everyone connected with the programme send our sincerest condolences to his family.”
Anne Kirkbride, who plays Deirdre Barlow, said: “The rainbow must have been for him. RIP Geoff. Really sad xx”
Charlie Condou, who plays Marcus Dent in the soap wrote: “The wonderful Geoffrey Hughes has lost his battle with cancer. RIP and thanks for all the laughs x”.
Mathew Horne, the star of the sitcom Gavin and Stacey, also paid tribute to Hughes, tweeting: “Sad to hear of Geoffrey Hughes passing. Onslow was the original LAD.”