Ex-Corrie star Charlie Lawson sends love to Julie Goodyear, 81, who is ... trends now
Actor Charlie Lawson has described Coronation Street icon Julie Goodyear as a 'Queen in every sense of the word' as it emerged she is suffering from dementia.
The actress, 81, is famed for playing leopard-print loving Rovers Return landlady Bet Lynch in the ITV soap for over 25 years, starting in the role in 1966.
Her husband Scott Brand revealed the 'heartbreaking' diagnosis in a statement released on Wednesday, saying the couple have been 'seeking medical advice and assistance'.
And as Coronation Street fans and former colleagues quickly gave messages of support, Lawson told The Mirror: 'It’s an impossible situation for her but I send her all my fondest love and greatest memories of her.
'She was great craic, we did the Rovers scenes on a Thursday and Friday afternoon and I always had real beer under the counter and Julie would pour me a nice pint of the real stuff between takes.
The actress (pictured) is famed for playing leopard-print loving Rovers Return landlady Bet Lynch
Julie Goodyear pictured attending the launch of Virgin Media TiVo at The House of St Barnabas in London on March 30, 2011
Actor Charlie Lawson (pictured) has described the Coronation Street icon as a 'Queen in every sense of the word'
'She was great fun, we had one disagreement and then we never had a cross word in the next 10 years in the 90s. We respected one another.
'Julie was a queen in very much the sense of the word because in those days, in the 90s when I was there, the ‘celebrity’ was only just being born, there was Kylie and Jason but the top shelves were still ‘you-know-what’ magazines.
'But Julie had been queen of the Rovers for a very long time and was very good at playing the dame.'
His well-wishes come after Julie's husband confirmed the news in a statement on Wednesday.
He said: 'My darling wife and I have had to come to terms with this heart-breaking diagnosis. Unfortunately, Julie has been suffering forgetfulness for some time and we have been seeking medical advice and assistance.
'But we now know that there is no hope of a reversal in the situation – and that her condition will get progressively, and perhaps speedily, worse.
‘We have taken the decision to publicly announce the diagnosis as Julie still loves visiting friends and eating out.
'Inevitably she is recognised, and fans love to meet her - and she them - but she can get confused particularly if she is tired. I hope people will understand.’
Julie remains a patron of Willow Wood Hospice in Greater Manchester and has said she wishes to highlight the wonderful work of the hospices who do so much to support patients and families with dementia.
Heartbreaking: Scott released this statement on behalf of his wife
'No hope of a reversal in the situation': Coronation Street icon Julie Goodyear, 81, revealed on Wednesday she is suffering from dementia as she shared her heartbreaking diagnosis (pictured as Bet Lynch in a still from the ITV soap)
Her love: Julie's fourth husband Scott Brand, 55, released the statement on Julie's behalf on Wednesday - the couple pictured in 2004
Hilary Evans, the chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, said: 'Our hearts go out to Julie Goodyear and her family, following the announcement that she is living with dementia.
'So many of us have such fond memories of watching Julie on screen, playing the iconic role of Bet Lynch.
'It is incredibly brave of Julie's husband to share this news and help raise much-needed awareness of dementia, a condition affecting almost one million people in the UK today.
'With no treatments to slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia, a diagnosis is truly heartbreaking.'
In December 2020, Julie paid tribute to fellow soap actress, EastEnders star Dame Barbara Windsor, who died following her own battle with Alzheimer's disease, aged 83.
She wrote on Facebook: 'Last night was so devastating for everyone in the industry who was ever lucky enough to meet Barbara let alone work along side her.
'She was a national treasure. That word is thrown around too casually nowadays. But with Barbara it was well and truly meant. Thoughts are with her family and friends.
'From one former landlady to another I raise a glass to the one and only and truly irreplaceable Barbara Windsor.
'The laughs your gave over the years and the stellar performance you executed week in week out in your pub in the East End of London lives on.'
Julie's last TV appearance is thought to be on The Big Soap Quiz in 2018
Soap icons: In December 2020, Julie paid tribute to fellow soap actress, EastEnders star Dame Barbara Windsor, who died following a battle with