Search icon


16th Jul 2020

Emmerdale’s Paula Tilbrook has died, aged 89

She starred in the show for 21 years.

Emmerdale’s Paula Tilbrook has died, aged 89.

The actor, who was best known for playing the iconic Betty Eagleton on the ITV soap, passed away in December 2019, her family this week confirmed.

“The family of Paula Tilbrook are sad to confirm the peaceful passing of their beloved Paula,” they said in a statement.

“She died of natural causes a few months ago at home with her loved ones beside her.”

Tilbrook played Betty on Emmerdale between the years 1994 and 2015. She left the series that year, only returning for a brief cameo in a Christmas episode.

Described by The Stage as an “iconic, straight-talking northerner”, the character of Betty quickly amassed a considerable fanbase of those who enjoyed her penchant for gossip and feisty attitude.

But Emmerdale wasn’t the only soap that Tilbrook made a name for herself in – she also had several minor roles in Coronation Street over the years – Estelle Plimpton in 1977, Olive Taylor-Brown in 1978 and 1980, and Vivian Barford between 1991 and 93.

An Emmerdale spokesperson told BBC: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of our much loved colleague, Paula Tilbrook.

“Paula was at the heart of Emmerdale for many years and she will be greatly missed by all who worked with her and by the fans of her character, Betty.

“We have lost a great talent and a wonderful friend but she will forever live in the memories of those lucky enough to have known her.”