Emmerdale star Meg Johnson, who played Pearl Ladderbanks dies aged 86 following private dementia battle

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Tributes have been paid to Meg Johnson, who played Pearl Ladderbanks on ITV soap Emmerdale, with a joint statement calling her a ‘kind and wonderful lady’

Emmerdale star Meg Johnson, who played Pearl Ladderbanks in the popular ITV soap, has died aged 86. A statement from her family, talent agency Jorg Betts Associates and the ITV show, paid tribute to the ‘kind and wonderful lady’.

The statement read: “It is with great sadness that we announce that actress Meg Johnson passed away peacefully yesterday evening surrounded by her family. Meg was a kind and wonderful lady, full of warmth and always with a twinkle in her eye.

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“Meg had an outstanding career that ended with her playing Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale from 2003. Meg had dementia for the last few years, but battled on personally and professionally regardless. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.”

As well as Emmerdale, the actress also had two separate stints on Coronation Street, playing Eunice Gee from 1981 to 1982 and then again for a brief period in 1999.

Aside from soap operas, Johnson also appeared in the West End theatre revival of Chicago as Mama Morton in 1997, before appearing in the Channel 4’s Brookside as Brigid McKenna for three years from 2000 and 2003.

Her death comes just five months after her husband, actor and ITV Granada television presenter Charles Foster died. Wirral-born Charles was one of the faces of Granada in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

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Following his death, Granada Reports’ producer Rob Jaskowski said: "Charles was such a nice person. I remember being star struck on my first day at Granada on work placement in 1984 when I sat with him in the canteen at Quay Street. He was great to chat with and a true inspiration. Condolences to his family and friends."

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