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John Savident, Corrie’s Fred Elliott, dies aged 86

2 months ago

John Savident, Corrie’s Fred Elliott, dies aged 86
John Savident. Credit: PA

Coronation Street actor John Savident has died, his representative has said.

The 86-year-old was known for his booming voice while playing butcher Fred Elliott on the ITV soap.

A statement from his agent to the PA news agency said: “We are sad to announce the death of the actor John Savident who died on Wednesday February 21.

“He was a much-loved husband and father of two and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

In 1994, Savident arrived on the cobbles and quickly became a fan favourite.

File photo dated 15/05/99 of members of the cast from Coronation Street at the British Soap Awards in London. (left to right) Bill Roache, David Neilson, John Savident, Steve Billington and Julie Hesmondhalgh. John Savident, known for playing Fred Elliott in Coronation Street, has died aged 86, his agent has said. Issue date: Saturday May 15, 1999. Credit: PA
File photo dated 15/05/99 of members of the cast from Coronation Street at the British Soap Awards in London. (left to right) Bill Roache, David Neilson, John Savident, Steve Billington and Julie Hesmondhalgh. John Savident, known for playing Fred Elliott in Coronation Street, has died aged 86, his agent has said. Issue date: Saturday May 15, 1999. Credit: PA

His storylines involved his disastrous love life, including three marriages and several failed proposals.

A secret son, Ashley Peacock (Steven Arnold), also arrived on the show and the two later developed a close bond as they worked as butchers together.

Savident’s character was killed off in 2006, suffering a stroke on the day he was supposed to marry Bev Unwin (Susie Blake).

Elliott’s death also saw Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) confess that she still loved him following her turning down his proposal of marriage years previously.

The butcher’s previous wives also include Maureen Holdsworth (Sherrie Hewson) and barmaid Eve Sykes (Melanie Kilburn).

Outside Coronation Street, Savident was in political comedy Yes, Minister, Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian thriller A Clockwork Orange, biopic Gandhi, war film Battle Of Britain, science fiction series Doctor Who and period dramas The Remains Of The Day and Middlemarch.

Coronation Street stars (L-R) Fred played by John Savident and Sue Nicholls as Audrey. Credit: PA
Coronation Street stars (L-R) Fred played by John Savident and Sue Nicholls as Audrey. Credit: PA

He was in the first staging of the musical Phantom Of The Opera, in October 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Haymarket, London, as the opera house owner Monsieur Firmin.

He returned to play the character in 2011 at the Royal Albert Hall concert film.

After leaving his soap work, Savident appeared on stage in productions of panto Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs and Harold Brighouse’s Hobson’s Choice.

Savident was married to theatre director Rona Hopkinson and they had two children.

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