Coronation Street has paid tribute to actor Neville Buswell, who played womaniser Ray Langton in the ITV soap in the 1960s and 70s.
Buswell, who has died at the age of 77, starred as Deirdre Barlow’s first husband and the father of her troubled daughter Tracy.
He joined Corrie in 1966 and was a regular on the cast before being written out in 1978.
A statement from the show said they were “saddened” to hear of his death.
The news was first reported in an obituary by a funeral home in Las Vegas. He had moved to the US city after leaving the cobbles.
Buswell made a cameo appearance as Ray in the one-off Coronation Street special Viva Las Vegas in 1997.
He then returned for a six-week stint in 2005, which ended with his character dying of lung cancer at Deirdre and Ken’s second wedding.
A Coronation Street spokeswoman said: “His portrayal of Deirdre’s first husband Ray Langton in the 1970s made him a part of Coronation Street history.
“We were delighted when he returned to the role in 1997 for a special DVD set in Vegas and again back in 2005 when Ray turned up on the cobbles to visit Deirdre and his daughter Tracy.
“We would like to extend our sympathies to his family and friends at this sad time.”
According to the Palm Eastern Mortuary & Cemetery, he died on Christmas Day and the funeral was held on 3 January. The cause of death is unknown.
Buswell was first seen in Corrie in 1966 and began a 10-year run on the soap from 1968.
His character had many affairs during his time on the Street, but it was his fling with waitress Janice Stubbs that finally killed his marriage.
Ray wanted to start afresh in Amsterdam with his wife and daughter, but Deirdre decided to stay in Weatherfield.
In 2012, in real life, Buswell faced allegations of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in his dressing room in the 1960s.
Buswell denied the claims as “not true” and said he had never met or heard of the woman behind them.
Buswell was born in 1943 in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, and began his acting career on the stage, performing in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and plays.
After leaving Coronation Street, he moved to the US, where he worked in the casino business before becoming a mortgage broker.