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Elizabeth Dawn MBE (better known as Liz Dawn, born Sylvia Butterfield on 8 November 1939 in Leedsmarker, Yorkshiremarker, England), is an English actress, best known for her role as Vera Duckworth in the long running British soap opera, Coronation Streetmarker. First starting on the serial in 1974, she had more of a recurring role as a factory worker until her husband, Jack, (played by William Tarmey) first appeared in 1979 and later for a more concrete role in 1983.

Dawn started her showbusiness career as a nightclub singer. By the late 1960s Dawn had ventured into acting, often taking smallparts in television programmes as well as advertisements. During the 1970s, she appeared in a variety of programmes including All Creatures Great and Small and Colin Welland's play Leeds United.

She was also one of the alien voices in the Cadbury's Smash advertisements in the 1970s.

In January 1990, Dawn was featured on This is Your Life.

Dawn published her autobiography Vera Duckworth – My Story in 1993.

In 2000, Dawn was chosen as the Lady Mayoress of Leeds and was awarded an MBE in October of that year for her services to charity, having helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for hospitals in the Manchestermarker and Leedsmarker area.

In mid-2004, Dawn was diagnosed with the incurable lung disease emphysema. On 22 July 2007, Granada Television (makers of Coronation Street) announced that Dawn was to be written out - at her own request - before Christmas, due to further complications with emphysema.

Her final appearance came in the episode screened on 18 January 2008, when Vera Duckworth died in her sleep, thus ending 34 years of the popular, iconic character. Bill Tarmey, who plays on screen husband Jack Duckworth, will continue to be a part of the cast of Coronation Street. Dawn stated that the hardest thing about leaving Corrie was saying good-bye to Tarmey, with whom she is best friends.

Dawn won the Special Achievement Award at the 2008 British Soap Awards for her 34-year long portrayal of her iconic character.

She is a supporter of the UK Labour Party and campaigned on behalf of Tamsin Dunwoody in the 2008 Crewe and Nantwichmarker by-election which Labour lost to the Conservatives.

In May 2009, Liz agreed to become the "Celebrity Ambassador" of the British Lung Foundation - the only UK charity working on behalf of all people affected by lung disease. She is currently working to raise awareness of COPD - an umbrella term for a list of diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, of which Liz is a sufferer herself. In June 2009 she spearheaded the campaign "Breathe Easy Week", where members of the Breathe Easy network (patient groups associated with the British Lung Foundation) raise awareness of the work of the BLF.


  1. Profile at What's on TV URL accessed 2007-11-12
  2. BBC Profile URL accessed:2007-11-12
  3. BBC News - Street star receives MBE. URL accessed 2007-05-25.
  4. BBC News - Corrie star battles lung disease. URL accessed 2007-05-10.
  5. Soaps - News - Dawn struggles to leave Corrie co-star - Digital Spy

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