Star of BBC comedy show Bread dies of heart attack, aged 54
Sitcom star: Gilly Coman who played Aveline in sitcom Bread has died from a suspected heart attack
Gilly Coman – the actress who found fame playing Aveline in the Liverpool sitcom Bread - has died from a suspected heart attack.
The 54-year-old, who gave up acting to become a full-time mum, also starred in Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Brookside.
But the flame-haired mother-of-four will be most remembered for her mini-skirted, high-heeled character in the hit 1980s BBC show about the hard-up Boswell family.
Scriptwriter Carla Lane said: ‘She was brilliant. She played the daughter and she was amazingly funny.
‘The way that she dressed up in those high heels and walked down the street represented Bread for me.’
Mrs Coman, who was a graduate of the Elliot Clarke drama school in Merseyside, also appeared in Ronnie Barker’s Open All Hours and Inspector Morse.
But she made her biggest impact on the screen as the wannabe model, and was at one of its most memorable moments when more than 21million people tuned in to watch Catholic Aveline marry Protestant vicar Oswald in 1988.
Working alongside a cast including Jean Boht and Peter Howitt, she starred Bread for five series before leaving to have a baby in 1989 and was replaced by Melanie Hill.
The show continued for two seasons before ending.
Mrs Coman retired from acting in 2000 to bring up her four children with her husband Phil in Caldy, Wirral.
'Amazingly funny': (Clockwise from top left) Adrian played by Jonathon Morris, Gilly Coman as Aveline, Ronald Forfar as Freddie, Victor McGuire as Jack, Billy played by Nick Conway, Jean Boht as Nellie and Joey, played by Peter Howitt
Lifelong friend Jane Joseph, who met Mrs Coman in school aged seven, and is now director of St Helens Theatre Royal in Merseyside, said: ‘She was a fantastic actress, the original Aveline.
‘Gilly told me when she went to her first audition she dressed the part and that is how she got it, everyone fell about the place.
‘As far as I am concerned she was a person to look up to.
‘She made her own way in the acting community and really carved her career out.
‘She was also a marvellous mother. She gave up her career for her children.'
Most watched News videos
- Angry villagers attack herd of elephants with fire torches in India
- 2018: Benjamin Netanyahu refers to Iranian scientist in address
- Labour expresses concern over lack of support for Tier 3 areas
- Shocking moment teenager is shot dead in Coventry gangland hit
- Adorable playful puppy surprises training firefighter with a kiss
- Arcadia on verge of collapse with around 15,000 jobs at risk
- Italian shopping channel gives tutorial on 'how to shop in sexy way'
- Duchess Kate jokes she wants expert advice for children's tantrums
- Protesters arrested at anti-lockdown demonstration in London
- Anti-lockdown protestor cries and howls as police arrest him in London
- Coronavirus in numbers: UK death toll rises to 57,551
- Jon Voight says 'Trump is the only man that can save this nation'