Actress Patricia Brake has died at the age of 79 following a long cancer battle, it has been announced.

She had a career that spanned over 60 years, but she was best known for her roles in the 1970s sitcom Porridge.

The star also appeared in soaps such as Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale.

Patricia's son Jon McBain shared the news on Twitter, he wrote: "I can confirm that my mother, the actress Patricia Brake, died earlier today at the age of 79 after a long battle with cancer."

Her agent Scott Marshall Partners also issued a statement: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our client and well-loved stage and TV actress, Patricia Brake, at the age of 79, after a very long battle with cancer.”

Patricia shot to stardom playing the daughter of Stanley Fletcher, played by Ronnie Barker, Ingrid Fletcher in the 1970s sitcom Porridge on BBC.

She reprised the role in sequel Going Straight, working alongside Richard Beckinsale and Nicolas Lyndhurst.

The actress also featured in Casualty, Holby City, Eldorado, Midsomer Murders, Doctors, and 2point4 Children.

In Coronation Street, she played Mike Baldwin's sister-in-law Viv.

Patricia was born in Bath in 1942 and studied in Bristol at the Old Vic Theatre School at 16 years old.

In 1962, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and played the role of Hermia in Peter Halls' A Midsummer Night's Dream, acting alongside Dame Judi Dench and Dame Diana Rigg.

Her acting career ran for over 60 years, with her final role being a rape victim in ITV drama Manhunt last year.

She married actor Robert McBain in 1966 at 24 years old. They split and Patricia remarried Michael Kennedy in 1997.

Patricia has three children, Hannah, Jon and Angus, as well as step-children and grandchildren.

Fans took to social media to express their sadness at the actress' passing.

One wrote: "So sorry for your and your family loss, loved your mum as gwen lockhead in Eldorado, she was a lovely lady on the chat she did on return to Eldorado.

"Very talented actress know how to bring a script alive.

Writer Joan Greening tweeted: "I am so sad to hear that Patricia Brake has died.

"She was in two series of one of my sitcoms and was a truly lovely person. I really enjoyed working with her. RIP Pat.

Another said: "RIP Patricia Brake. I shall be wearing some rubber gloves this evening as a tribute. #Eldorado".

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