'Coronation Street' star Bill Roache was struck by another tragedy after the death of his daughter Vanya last week. The actor's 50-year-old daughter is believed to have passed on March 2, leaving the actor "utterly heartbroken." This is the 85-year-old actor's third loss, after losing wife Sara Mottram in 2009 and his 18-month-old daughter Edwina in 1983.
According to reports, Roache has been granted compassionate leave by ITV to take as much time as he needs to recover from the news of his daughter's sudden death. A source close to the actor said, "Bill is utterly heartbroken. No father should have to go through the loss of a child, let alone two. ITV are giving him all the time he needs but he’s understandably very upset," according to The Sun.
Friends of Roache's late daughter paid a heartwarming tribute to her over the weekend. Wendy Elisabeth Vick posted a picture of them and wrote, "My beautiful, perfect, wonderful best friend and soulmate. Forever in my heart." Claire Wayland-Pratt, another Vanya's friends said she was heartbroken upon hearing the news of her death. Roache's eldest daughter, Varn, as she was known to friends, leaves behind fiancé Toby, with whom she lived in Chichester, West Sussex.
Roach shared Vanya with his first wife Anna Cropper, with whom his relationship fell apart in the late 60s after his numerous extra-marital affairs and alcoholism clouded their happiness. Roach and Cropper married in 1961 when they were both acting in Nottingham. Later, he moved to London and the former couple struggled to make their long-distance marriage work with two young kids, Linus and Vanya.
The actor earlier said that his first marriage wasn't fulfilling and admitted to seeing other women from 1965 onwards. Roache, who is popular for his role Ken Barlow on the British soap, met his second wife Sara in 1971 and told reporters that he was faithful to her. The couple tied the knot in 1978 and had their first baby, Edwina in 1981. However, she died of pneumonia after 18 months.
In 2009, he lost his second wife after 38 years of marriage. Roache earlier said that his wife collapsed suddenly just as they were sitting on their bed and chatting. There was no ailment, no stroke, no heart attack or blood clot, nothing like that. There was no structural failure, no disease nothing wrong other than the electrical impulse to the heart stopped and they didn’t know why. She just went," Mirror Online quoted him as saying.
According to reports, Roache and his daughter had a difficult relationship for decades after his divorce from Cropper. They finally reconciled only a few years ago. Vanya told Sunday Mirror in 1999 that her father walked out on their family, and added that she didn't feel sorry that her dad faced bankruptcy. "I've lost count of the years since we last spoke. I'm not bothered what happens to him. We have nothing to do with each other after what went on in the past," she said.
Years later in 2014, she showed her support when Roache faced sexual assault allegations. On social media, she praised him for being a "wonderful dad." She uploaded a picture of the family and captioned it, "My beautiful family, wonderful father and a very happy and truthful day."
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