The Emmerdale star passed away on Monday (07Dec15) at her home following a short battle with cancer, her management confirmed.

Stelfox was best known in the U.K. for playing Edna Birch in the long-running soap opera since 2000.

John Whiston, executive producer at the ITV network, says, "The family here at Emmerdale are deeply saddened by Shirley's passing, it is hard to imagine Emmerdale without her... We offer our condolences to Shirley's family and share our feeling of loss with the millions of viewers who will miss Edna enormously."

Stelfox also had roles in British shows Coronation Street, Keeping Up Appearances, Brookside, The Bill and Z Cars. She had a small role as a prostitute in a film adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, starring John Hurt.

She was married to Star Wars actor Don Henderson until his death in 1997.