Former Stourbridge-based actor and Coronation Street star Johnny Briggs dies

Coronation Street actor Johnny Briggs has died aged 85, his family have announced.

Johnny Briggs with his Lifetime Achievement award at the British Soap Awards, in 2006. Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire.
Johnny Briggs with his Lifetime Achievement award at the British Soap Awards, in 2006. Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire.

The actor, formerly of Stourbridge, was famous for his role as Mike Baldwin in the ITV soap.

He had been a member of Stourbridge Golf Club. He is believed to have moved away from the area around a decade ago.

Briggs had also been regular at the former Prince of Wales pub in Hagley, and in 1995, he officially open Stourbridge's High Street JobClub.

Back in 2001, he hailed the Stourbridge edition of the Express & Star as the best read in the town. During a visit to the town's Specsavers, he said: "The Stourbridge edition is a great idea and I'm sure people in the area will like it."

Later that year he also opened the Old Swinford Hospital School's summer garden party, and in 2007 he opened Nock Deighton Estate Agents in Kidderminster, where his son Mike worked at the time.

He switched on the Stourbridge Christmas Lights in 2002.

A statement from his family on Sunday said he died after a long illness.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our father, Johnny Briggs," the statement said.

"He passed away peacefully this morning after a long illness, with family by his side. He was 85.

"We politely ask for privacy at this time, so that we can quietly grieve as a family and remember the wonderful times we had with him."

The actor played the role on the Cobbles for decades. His role as underwear factory boss Mike Baldwin was one of the soap's most famous.

Briggs made his Corrie debut as Mike in 1976 and remained on the cobbles until 2006. He left the soap with his cockney character apparently suffering from a form of Alzheimer's.

The London-born actor also appeared on stage and in films, alongside the likes of Norman Wisdom, Dirk Bogarde and Tommy Steele.

Briggs was appointed an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours in December 2006.

According to the Mirror, he had split his time in later life between a home in Portishead, North Somerset, and a house in Florida.

Presenter Piers Morgan paid tribute to the Coronation Street actor on social media. "RIP Johnny Briggs, 85," he tweeted.

"Coronation Street legend who played rogueish Mike Baldwin for 30yrs. Great character on & off screen."

Emmerdale actor John Bowe tweeted: "RIP Johnny Briggs. Never forgotten introducing you to Guacamole!"

Former Corrie writer Phil Ford tweeted: "Very very sad to hear that actor Johnny Briggs has died. Knew him during my time on Corrie. Many a lunchtime chat. Lots of smiles."

John Whiston, managing director of continuing drama and head of ITV in the north, paid tribute. "The whole Coronation Street family is deeply saddened by the death of Johnny Briggs," he said in a statement.

"For years Johnny was right at the centre of the show, playing the part of Mike Baldwin and bringing to the role huge energy, dynamism, professionalism and credibility.

"When Mike Baldwin was in a scene it was very hard to look at anyone else. And it was that charisma which made him irresistible to the women of Coronation Street, and to viewers.

"He truly was one of the most iconic characters the Street has ever known. We wish Johnny's family all our condolences."

Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, Conor Burns, tweeted: "Sad to hear Johnny Briggs has died. A great actor who brought pleasure to millions through his character Mike Baldwin.

"Will always be remembered for some of @itvcorrie most dramatic, funny and moving scenes. The passing of an era on the cobbles. RIP."

Coronation Street's Antony Cotton said "we all adored him" of Johnny Briggs. "Johnny Briggs was a complex character, on and off screen, and we all adored him," he tweeted.

"Feel lucky that I got the chance to work with him in the factory. I am, and will always be, a Baldwin's Casual. Night night Mr Baldwin, I've left you a bottle of Scotch in the filing cabinet..."

Corrie actress Samia Longchambon tweeted "#RestInPeace Johnny Briggs. Really sorry to hear the sad news. I have fond memories of working with Johnny, he was such a lovely man."

Coronation Street star Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt, said: "I am very sorry to hear the sad news. I have many happy memories of working together with Johnny. He was one of the street's most memorable characters."

Corrie colleague Sally Dynevor tweeted: "RIP Johnny Briggs. What a wonderful actor he was. Lots of happy memories."

Sue Nicholls, the Street's Audrey Roberts, paid tribute. "I am very sad to hear the news. Johnny was a great friend, I knew him before I started in Coronation Street and he was always great fun to be around," she said in a statement to the PA news agency.

"I have been watching classic Coronation Street recently and it has brought home to me what a truly great actor he was.

"He played the part of Mike Baldwin so well that, despite all Mike's ducking and diving, you were always on his side.

"Although he left the show 15 years ago he will always be part of the Street and its history. I send my love and condolences to his family."

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News