Who was Leah Bracknell? Zoe Tate actress in Emmerdale who has died from cancer.

EMMERDALE actress Leah Bracknell passed away aged 55 - with her death being revealed a month later on October 16, 2019.

We take a look back at her acting career, family life and brave battle with lung cancer.

 Leah Bracknell played Zoe Tate in Emmerdale for 16 years

Leah Bracknell played Zoe Tate in Emmerdale for 16 yearsCredit: Alamy

Who was Leah Bracknell?

The 55-year-old actress played Zoe Tate on Emmerdale for 16 years and started trending on Twitter after fans learned of her condition.

Mum-of-two Leah was the first lesbian character on the British soap and won Best Exit at the British Soap Awards when she left the show in 2006.

Following her stint on the ITV soap, the actress went on to teach yoga and meditation.

 The mum-of-two was cast as the first lesbian to appear in a soap

The mum-of-two was cast as the first lesbian to appear in a soapCredit: Ross Parry

When did Leah reveal she had cancer?

In October 2016, Leah released the statement: “My abdomen suddenly ballooned and within a matter of a few days I looked heavily pregnant. I could barely walk or breathe.

“Then, one Saturday night at the beginning of September I ended up in A & E

“I was subsequently given an emergency procedure to remove a large amount of fluid from around my heart.

“However, the bad news is that I have been diagnosed with lung cancer, stage 4. In their opinion, that means it’s terminal, not curable, not operable.

“A fairly brutal and bleak diagnosis but one I am determined to challenge and see from the perspective of ‘a glass half full’, going against a lifetime of pessimism, negativity and fear!”

 Leah's last ever picture on Instagram

Leah's last ever picture on InstagramCredit: Instagram

When did Leah Bracknell die?

Leah Bracknell passed away in September 2019, three years after battling lung cancer.

After she was diagnosed, fans helped her to raise more than £50,000 to undergo groundbreaking treatment in Germany.

She started taking new medication, but later revealed that it had failed.

Leah is survived by her two children and her husband Jez Hughes.

What have Emmerdale said about Leah's death?

ITV released this statement: "Everyone on Emmerdale is very sad to hear of the death of Leah Bracknell. Leah was a hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast for over 16 years.

"During that time she featured in some of the show's most high profile and explosive plots and always delivered a pitch perfect performance.

"Zoe Tate was one of soaps first lesbian characters and Leah made sure the character was both exciting and credible. Leah herself was a very generous and caring colleague, much loved by cast and crew alike."

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