Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell dies aged 55

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Former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell died last month after battling cancer, her manager has confirmed.

Bracknell, who played Zoe Tate in the soap for 16 years, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer three years ago.

A statement on behalf of her family confirmed the news “with the deepest sadness”.

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

“Leah continued to embrace life and faced her illness with positivity.”

As well as playing Tate, Bracknell also had television roles in Judge John Deed, A Touch of Frost, The Royal Today and DCI Banks, as well as performing on stage and in pantomime.

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In February, the actress spoke of the debilitating effects terminal cancer had had on her, leaving her feeling like she was “trapped in a cage”.

“If only you could find the door and step out to freedom and life as it was before,” she wrote.

“If only you could wake from the nightmare: dawn breaks and you realise that it was all just a bad dream. And life is wonderfully normal again. Yes, if only.”

Her family have asked for privacy, but said “many aspects of Leah’s journey can be found on her blog.”

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